Municipal councillors of Gurugram have sought amendments to the budget of Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) for the financial year 2018-19 as they objected to what they called “inflated income and expenditure assessments.
Flaying the budget, which has shown an income of â‚¹2,290 crore and expenditure of â‚¹1,884.59 crore, the councillors were not impressed with the â‚¹406 crore surplus posted in the budget. The previous year budget (2017-18) pegged the MCG’s income and expenditure as â‚¹1,657.41 crore and â‚¹1,327. 87 crore respectively.
The councillors said they were not given enough time to assess the methodology of budget expenditure and income of the previous years. Out of the total thirty five MCG councillors, twenty six were present in the budget meeting which was preponed from Monday to Saturday.
RS Rathee, councillor of Ward 34, said, “We strongly oppose expenditure and income assessments as they are inflated. Property and fire tax collection worth â‚¹342 crore is inflated, as the amount includes the backlog of last several years. While only â‚¹15 crore in revenue was collected from advertisement in the last fiscal, the estimate for fiscal 2018-’19 has been pegged at â‚¹100 crore. Such an assessment is flawed and we demand an amendment. The budget presented today is full of such inflated figures.”
Barring a few, most of the councillors present in the budget meeting were new and had little knowledge of what was going on.
“Only three days ago, we got a message about the budget meeting. We had been informed earlier that the meeting will be held on April 9. We are not happy with the budget as it is flawed and lacks on many fronts. We were never consulted while officials were preparing the budget. We want the MCG to hold discussions with us before sending it to the government for its approval,” Hemant Kumar, councillor for Ward 28 said.
Madhu Batra, councillor for Ward 16, said, “The officials have sold us a dream when the city lacks basic amenities. The budget doesn’t provide for amenities for residents in my ward.”
The officials ducked all questions posed by councillors regarding the over 400 outsourced employees, number of privately hired vehicles, funds worth â‚¹150 crore allocated to the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) and â‚¹500 crore to Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).
Yashpal Yadav, MCG commissioner, said, “The objections raised by councillors were addressed by the officials and House approved the budget later. It will soon be sent to the government for approval. We took note of the objections and suggestions and they will be incorporated in the budget.”