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Financial Management

Corporation budget today

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The Hindu                    14.03.2013

Corporation budget today

Staff Reporter 

Coimbatore Corporation will hold the budget session of its Council on March 14 at 10.30 a.m.

According to sources, the meeting will be held in the presence of Mayor S.M. Velusamy, who will read out the major announcements. Finance and Taxation Committee Chairman R. Prabhakaran will present the budget, which will be his second.

 

Corporation failed to spend 10% of last year budget

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The Times of India                       13.03.2013 

Corporation failed to spend 10% of last year budget

CHENNAI: Another budget has been presented and new outlays made, but the corporation has not spent what it had set apart for different kinds of civic work. According to its own records, it has not spent 314 crore - more than 10% of the 2,922 crore budget - in 2012-13.This underlines the ad hoc preparation of budgetary estimates and the lack of political will to execute projects, experts say.

In every budget, the civic body allocates a significant portion as capital expenditure for infrastructure like roads and storm water drains as well as for education but by the end of the year most of the money is still unspent. The result: Roads have potholes, drains are clogged, and garbage bins overflow. More importantly, these funds lapse and cannot be carried forward to the next financial year.

Records reveal that the civic body underutilizes several crores sanctioned for the corporation schoolchildren. Though the schools remain ill-equipped, the education department has spent only 18% of the funds allotted to it. It spent just 2.7 crore of the 15 crore sanctioned for corporation schools last year. Some sources in the civic body said that 31 corporation schools were closed since 2009 due to lack of students.

The buildings department has spent only 34.6 crore of the 82 crore it received. It is yet to construct public toilets because of the poor response from private firms. In July, the buildings department announced that it would construct 5,000 modern toilets across the city. It later revised this number to 2,000. So far, not one toilet has been built.

Close to 10 crore has been unused in the 15 corporation zones. Despite complaints about uncleared garbage, the solid waste management department has let close to 20% of its funds lapse. The second highest number of complaints the corporation receives relates to non-functioning street lights but the electrical department has spent less than half its allocation (44% ). However, the health department spent 2.69 crore more than its allocation and the mechanical department overran its budget by 10.7 crore.

A senior corporation official said, "There is no clear strategy or plan about utilizing funds. There is little coordination among various departments in the civic body." Experts blame inefficiencies while planning and preparing the budget. M G Devasahayam, social activist and former civil servant, said, "The priorities of the civic body are wrong. If projects are slow to take off or complete, it shows the civic body's inability to fully use its finances." 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 11:58
 

Corporation gives a 'status quo’ budget bereft of any fresh ideas

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The Hindu                        13.03.2013

Corporation gives a 'status quo’ budget bereft of any fresh ideas

Special Correspondent 

Most of the proposals figured in last year's budget

Replete with customary repetitions of several pending project proposals, some of them hanging fire for more than a decade, the Tiruchi City Corporation has failed to come up with a road map for implementing them in its budget 2013-14.

The civic body has not made any substantial financial allocation or identified funding sources for any projects which have been repeated in this year’s budget.

A classic example is the proposal on establishing an integrated bus stand in the city.

Even after a decade since the proposal was mooted, the corporation is yet to zero in on a site for the bus stand.

The lack of clarity or direction is apparent as the Budget merely states that steps are being taken to identify a site for the integrated bus stand in view of the heavy congestion at the central bus stand. The AIADMK dispensation at the council is apparently waiting for a direction from the State government.

Similarly, the civic body has not been able to identify a site for the bus stand proposed in Srirangam.

The proposal was announced in the last Budget and the corporation had even made an allocation of Rs. 9 crore then. No financial allocation, not even a token sum, has been earmarked for both proposals in the budget 2013-14.

The civic body’s move to revive the proposal on establishing a water theme park, originally mooted by the former Mayor Sarubala R. Tondaiman of the Congress nearly 10 years ago, is bound to be viewed with scepticism. The corporation has proposed the park on a 15-acre site at Panchapur, where it has a massive sewage treatment facility. Here again no financial commitment has been made.

Civic activists have been critical of the move. N. Ramakrishnan, coordinator, Welfare Organisations of Tiruchi, questions the suitability of the site as Panchapur is already facing heavy pollution owing to the sewage farm.

The Cauvery bank is ideally suited for a theme park, he says.

A section of the former councillors question the viability of the project. The initiative had failed to take off despite Ms. Tondaiman’s attempts during her two successive tenures, they point out.

Another proposal announced last year that has failed to take off so far is a move to build multi-level parking lot at Gandhi Market. The existing toilet complex, two-wheeler parking lot, and some of the retail and wholesale shops near the Diamond Jubilee building in front of the Gandhi Market was planned to be demolished to build the new complex at an investment of Rs. 15 crore. It would house a food court, cloak room, indoor sports amenities, modern toilet, and a multi-storey parking lot. But now the corporation says it will seek government assistance for building the complex.

Proposals on construction of a commercial complex at Thillai Nagar market is an old proposal languishing for want of capital.

The corporation has now proposed a new complex near the truck parking lot on Madurai Road this year, without making any financial commitment.

A waste-to-power project, shifting of the wholesale sections of the Gandhi Market, construction of an office-cum-commercial complex at Sengulam Colony and establishment of a modern fish market at Puthur have all found mention in one or more budgets over the past few years but have not seen the light of the day so far.

 


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