Thursday, March 18, 2010


Some Number-Crunching Shows That Finances Are Shaky, Palike Borrows Crores To Pay Off Bills

Bangalore: Big bucks for a big metro: first, it was a masterplan worth Rs 22,000 crore that was prepared and submitted by BBMP for Bangalore. Now, state budget 2010-11 projects a solid Rs 18,872 crore to be spent on the city over the next three years. The huge numbers look good on paper, but BBMP’s increasing liabilities and loans show that its economics are a matter of concern for the future.
Palike sources say that very few or no new works may be taken up for 2010-11. One reason is that the outstanding bills for 2009-10 are still piling up, despite the BBMP’s increasing debts.
The latest loan is a total of Rs 1,000 crore from three nationalized banks: Rs 500 crore from SBI at 8%; Rs 300 crore from Syndicate Bank at 9.5%, and Rs 200 crore from Corporation Bank at 9.5%. This loan is to clear the outstanding bills as on November 2009, for works taken up in that year. The borrowing has been permitted by a government order dated March 6, 2010, based on a resolution passed by the BBMP administrator on January 6, 2010. A note to this effect was prepared by the BBMP commissioner on January 1, 2010.
This loan is in addition to the earlier loan of Rs 959.7 crore from IDBI Bank and Rs 500 crore from Internal Extra Borrowing Resources (IEBR). All this hard cash was to clear work orders worth Rs 4,188 crore, issued in 2009-10. However, the budgetary allocation for the year was only Rs 1,857 crore, and more than half the total amount for the work came in through loans. The figures are likely to increase by March 31, 2010, as the BBMP has already hinted in its resolution. As on December 29, 2009, the outstanding figures had already touched Rs 1,667.50 crore.
A little number-crunching shows that even out of a realistic budget of Rs 4,495 crore that’s likely to be proposed by BBMP for 2010-11, the Palike’s total liability for the year will be around Rs 3,390 crore. Of this, 2,504.13 crore will be spent on completing the 15,301 works taken up during 2009-10, and at least Rs 895 crore will be going out as interest on loans borrowed so far!
According to urban experts and civic activists, the problem for Bangalore does not end with the BBMP elections on March 28. The biggest challenge for the new council would be to audit the works taken up and bring in transparency in the system.
“Huge money is being availed as loans now. Much of it has been borrowed in the absence of an elected council. There must be a serious audit of all works taken up by BBMP in the past three years. This includes citizen audit, work audit, quality and quantity audit, alongside the site and financial audits. We need to borrow for ongoing works. I don’t understand why BBMP is borrowing money for work already completed. What happened to the previous budgetary allocations for those works?’’ asks former mayor P R Ramesh. Bangaloreans also have questions: “The city is flooded with works, but who is monitoring them?”
The police have tightened security. They have taken over 30 persons into preventive custody.
No. of candidates: 2,026 Rejected candidates: 10 Reservation of 198 wards
SC: Total 23 (including 8 women) ST: Total 2 (including 1 woman) Backward Classes A: Total 53 (including 18 women) Backward Classes B: 13 (including 4 women) General category: 107 (including 36 women) Total women from all categories: 67
Caste-wise representation given by three parties
BJP: Vokkaligas (60), Lingayats (6), Kurubas (24), Muslims (6), SC (28), ST (2) Congress: Vokkaligas(37), Lingayats (2), Kurubas (22), Muslims (16), SC (25), ST (2) JD(S): Vokkaligas (40), Lingayats (4), Kurubas (11), Muslims (18), SC (25), ST (2)
STATUS 2009-10
15,301 works worth a total of Rs 4,188.38 crore started across 147 wards and are in various stages of progress Of this amount, Rs 1,684.24 was paid in 2009-10 Balance of Rs 2,504.13 crore expected from budget for 2010-11


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