Chandigarh, February 7
Going by the old practice, the Municipal Corporation House today approved Rs 2,176.43 crore budget estimates for 2023-24 fiscal, with a deficit of Rs 828.33 crore during a special meeting.
While The MC’s own estimated receipts are worth Rs 793.81 crore, it has got Rs 555 crore grant-in-aid (GIA). Thus it falls short of Rs 828.33 crore in its budget estimate. The MC has demanded Rs 1,332.50 crore in grant from the UT Administration.
Of the total budget estimate, Rs 465.56 crore has been kept under the capital head, while Rs 1400.74 crore has been earmarked under the revenue head.
The corporation will have to generate excess funds from its own resources. It will look for more funds under the revised budget or project-based funds from the administration. It may slow down development works in the city.
Like previous years, the MC said it had prepared its budget estimate based on the 4th Delhi Finance Commission’s recommendation of increasing its share from 17.5% to 30% in the total receipts of the UT Administration. But, despite assurances for the past many years, it has never received the GIA as per the recommendations. Presenting the budget in the House today, Mayor Anup Gupta delivered a detailed budget speech, a first in the MC.
Budget unrealistic: Opposition
“It is an unrealistic budget. You (BJP) have a government at the Centre and the MP is also from your party. What is there for 13 new villages added to the MC recently? Why the budget had been kept a secret this time. Its copies should have been given to councillors before the House meeting for discussion,” asked AAP councillor Yogesh Dhingra during the meeting.
Leader of the Opposition Damanpreet Singh demanded that the budget copies should have reached the councillors three or four days prior to the meeting.
The Mayor said, “Due to our efforts, the GIA has gradually reached up to Rs 550 crore. Besides, we get separate funds under the Swachh Bharat Mission and AMRUT. We have also got dedicated funds for roads and village development.”
Meanwhile, BJP councillors Maheshinder Singh Sidhu, Saurabh Joshi, Kanwarjeet Singh Rana, Harpreet Kaur Babla and others appreciated the budget. Babla suggested the MC needed to make full use of advertisement spots and taxi stands to increase its revenue.
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