Amid Funding Shortage, BBMP Considers Large Budget Allocations | Latest India News

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) expects large allocations in Karnataka’s budget, due March 4, as it faces severe infrastructure problems and other civic challenges, it said on Thursday. a senior government official.

“We had asked for funds for several issues. The main ones are storm sewers, all those infrastructure projects that are 80-90% done and the other 10-20% are blocked or delayed,” the official said, asking not to be named.

The BBMP also requested 1,170 crore for flood relief, but the official quoted above added: “It is unlikely to be achieved.”

The Karnataka budget in 2021-22 provided a total subsidy of 7,795 crore for the “comprehensive development” of Bangalore.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his predecessor BS Yediyurappa have been working with tight budgets due to financial constraints from India’s nascent economy, exacerbated by Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns.

The GSDP (state gross domestic product) also contracted -2.6% last year, registering the first drop in years. Yediyurappa had presented a deficit budget in 2021-2022, the first for many decades, because the shortfalls were indexed on 15,133.60 crore.

Due to increased borrowing to make up for shortfalls, total government debt increased by almost 32% between 2019 and 2020, when it stood at 2.34 lakh crore, which increased to 3.07 lakh crore by 2020-21, according to a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in December last year.

During the same period, loans and advances from the center to the State also experienced a strong increase of 13,908 crore to 26,617 crores during the same period.

“Mr. Basavaraj Bommai is walking a tightrope, and I am sure he will fall, but this time, unfortunately, he will drag the whole state with him. The problem with the BJP government of Karnataka is that he is scared of his counterpart at the national level.Here the primary motive of the CM is to save the position and not the interests of the people.We have Mr. Basavaraj Bommai who is silent on various injustices to Karnataka related to fiscal decentralization, subsidies , GST compensation and other budgetary aspects,” Siddaramaiah, the Leader of the Opposition Congress in Karnataka, told HT on Thursday.Siddaramaiah has presented 13 budgets in this career.

With only a year to go before assembly elections and at least two more – the Zilla, taluka and BBMP elections – ahead of him, Bommai is challenged to accommodate aspirations at all levels while trying to remain in power despite growing contestation of his position from within. his party.

“He will be under pressure to impress his MPs as his post is still not sealed. This means that there will be mother-in-law treatment of opposition MPs in the allocation of the budget. It is doubtful that he can impress people as he is bound by budget constraints due to government failure. The central government, which has failed to delegate adequate subsidies, has now allowed states to borrow interest-free loans with a term of 50 years. CM will use the maximum and charge the following governments,” added Siddaramaiah.

“The Chief Minister will give a good budget. All the ministers and others have spoken (at the CM). A pro-people budget, especially a budget that keeps the poor at the center and ensures that there is something for every household,” Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashok said on Thursday.

“This is Bommai’s first budget and it will bring softness and sweetness to the people of the state,” he added.

Urban experts lament that the administration of Bengaluru is grappling with the problem of too many authorities, which are created for specific needs but end up becoming another “empire” in the process with little or no liability.

For example, the state government established Bengaluru Solid Waste Management Limited (BSWML) as a public company to manage solid waste on behalf of BBMP, which was the main body responsible for clearing garbage in the city.

Similarly, there is Bengaluru Development Authority, Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA), Bengaluru Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) and several others whose functions, to be fair, are unclear to most residents of the capital. .

“The state’s approach has been to create more and more parastatals. Bengaluru smart city is one with special purpose vehicle and moves in independent direction. The Solid Waste Management Authority is another. The tendency to say that the solution for the city lies in the creation of more of these authorities and that each of them becomes one more silo and an empire in its own right is part of the problem”, V Ravichandar, expert urban and CEO of Feedback Consulting, known as HT.

Bommai, in the legislative council, declared that more 20,000 crore has been spent on road works in Bengaluru alone in the past five years.

“The challenge in our cities is that even though we are creating the capital, we are not providing the operations and maintenance (O&M). So this capital as such which is created as such is impacted because the repair and maintenance is not good,” Ravichandar added.

James V. Hayes