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BBMP budget to be presented today

Staff Reporter

It is coming after a couple of postponements

Bangalore: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget will be presented on Monday. This will be the first budget to be presented after the elections to the BBMP Council were held in March this year.

The postponement of the budget appears to have taken a toll on the city.

The budget presentation has been postponed four times.

It was first proposed to be presented on August 9 and then on August 16.

While the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance had said that the budget would be presented on August 23, Mayor S.K. Nataraj stated that the date would be scheduled sometime in early September.

It is common knowledge that the civic authority is cash strapped.

The BBMP owes several crores in loans obtained from 11 banks.

However, sources ruled out an increase in tax rates.

Mr. Nataraj has stated that he has requested additional funds of Rs. 1,500 crore from the Government.

While the additional funds may help initially, the financial condition of the BBMP will improve only if the six lakh homes are brought under the property tax bracket and more trade licenses are issued.

The BBMP still continues to bank on additional revenue that will come its way when Akrama-Sakrama scheme is implemented.

The 198 councillors have demanded several crores to take up development works in their respective wards. Mr. Nataraj recently announced that all the 198 wards in the city would get equal grants.

Sources said that the budget outlay is around Rs. 7,000 crore.

The 2009-10 budget was around Rs. 4,000 crore. The budget places emphasis on the development of the new areas in the city and increasing revenue generation.

The sources said that during the pre-budget meeting, senior councillors had suggested that the budget include more schemes for the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes, earmark funds for setting up day care centres for senior citizens and open laboratories for testing blood sugar levels.

Solid waste management and greening of the city will be given importance, the sources added. It now remains to be seen if the budget is able to address the city's needs.

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