Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bangalore likely to get A1 grade in six months

Bangalore likely to get A1 grade in six months

The Hindu

It need not wait till 2011 census

# As per 2001 census, the city's population is 56 lakhs
# If Greater Bangalore comes into existence, it will go up to 70 lakhs

Bangalore: Bangalore need not wait for the next population census in 2011 to get the status of an A1 city. The proposal to create a Greater Bangalore by merging six city municipal councils and a town municipal council with the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike will catapult it into the big league of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai that are currently classified as A1 cities.

Bangalore is now classified as an A Grade city though its population exceeds 50 lakhs, the threshold limit for getting a promotion in classification from A to A1 grade. But, as per the 2001 census, the population of Bangalore city was 56 lakhs out of which 45 lakhs is in the mahanagara palike area.

If Greater Bangalore comes into existence, it will straight away take the population to more than 70 lakhs by amalgamating the population accounted for by the respective municipal councils.

"In six months, Bangalore will be classified as a A1 grade city which will otherwise have had to wait till the 2011 census", an official with the State Finance Department said. The impending re-classification from A to A1 grade status would benefit lakhs of Union and State Government and private sector employees in terms of higher house rent allowance (HRA) and city compensatory allowance (CCA).

At present, Union Government employees working in Bangalore get 15 per cent of their basic pay as HRA.

This would be doubled to 30 per cent once it is tagged as an A1 city.

Similarly, the HRA of State Government employees would rise to about 25-30 per cent from the existing 13 per cent after the re-designation.

The CCA perquisite would also go up marginally from the present level of Rs. 300 per month for Union Government and Rs. 240 per month for State Government employees.


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