Friday, April 30, 2010

Low on income, big on borrowings

Low on income, big on borrowings


Sharan PoovannaFirst Published : 30 Apr 2010 05:11:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 30 Apr 2010 08:58:38 AM IST
BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has raised loans of more than Rs 4,000 crore and the quarterly interest on them itself runs up to Rs 511 crore. It has to pay more than Rs 1,250 crore to contractors. Compare its expenses with its income: Rs 800-1200 crore that come from property tax.
“There is no rationale behind the Palike raising these loans,” said M Nagaraju, councillor and Leader of Opposition.
He told Express that as there was no council for more than three years, officials had manipulated and misused the funds.
He alleged that Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and his cabinet had forced the officials to raise money for vested interests. The opposition leader said only a detailed enquiry could bring out the truth.
He added that the government had promised Rs 600 crore to the BBMP for various works but had not re leased even a single rupee thus far. He said there were instances when more than Rs 100 crore was given to wards for developmental purposes. He said such huge amounts were unheard of till few years ago adding that the BBMP’s pending bills to contractors ran up to Rs 1,250 crore.
“Who will pay the interest, salaries and the contractors if the Palike is so irresponsible,” he asked.
Bharat Lal Meena, BBMP commissioner, said there could be no development without (spending) money.
The amount spent was the price paid for development of the city, Meend said and added that proposals to raise funds would be introduced in the council in coming days.
He said Akrama-Sakrama scheme, when implemented, would generate a handsome amount. He said many more properties coming under the tax net would provide funds adding that revenue would be generated by imposing fine on the buildings that had violated laws.
“We can waive off the loans in five-seven years if all what is planned materialises,” Meena said.

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