Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Chandigarh: In 2015-16, MC spent only 55 per cent of total funds allocated under plan head

Of Rs 20 crore allocated under the planned budget to primary education, the MC has just spent Rs 1 crore.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
February 13, 2017 4:17:11 am
chandigarh, chandigarh news, chandigarh municipal corporation, chandigarh PHC, chandigarh primary health centre, indian express, india news A congested classroom in a government school in Chandigarh.

EVEN AS the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is all set to pass the new budget for financial year 2017-18, the civic body has fared poorly when it comes to the utilisation of budget. In 2015-16, the MC spent only 55 per cent of the total funds allocated to it under the plan head. Of the Rs 348 crore plan head budget, the MC was able to spend only Rs 190 crore. The plan head included expenditure that was meant to create new infrastructure and capital assets. Rs 17 crore was allocated for the fire and emergency services and nothing was spent till December 2015.

Under the public health wing, the MC spent only Rs 6 crore out of Rs 23 crore allocated. On the building and roads, MC just spent Rs 59 crore out of Rs 135 crore allocated.

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Of Rs 20 crore allocated under the planned budget to primary education, the MC has just spent Rs 1 crore. Similarly, Rs 23 crore was allocated to the primary health sector, but the MC managed to utilise only Rs 1.31 crore.

Chairman of FOSWAC Baljinder Singh Bittu says, “These people don’t know how much money has to be spent under what head. They should make a realistic budget and senior officers should fix a responsibility also if the budget remains unspent.”

In 2016-17 as well, the MC had approved a budget of Rs 572.40 crore but it could actually spend only Rs 106.41 crore till December.

While the fire and emergency services of the city are crying for attention, the MC spent Rs 41 lakh only out of the Rs 33.35 crore allocated for it. Even for the ward development fund, Rs 12.70 crore was allocated but the councillors have been able to spend only Rs 6.52 crore till November 2016. The expenditure on primary education paints a dismal picture as the corporation spent only Rs 15,000 of the Rs 5 crore it allocated. Similarly, in primary health, the civic body spent only Rs 68.47 lakh when Rs 15 crore was allocated.

Congress city chief Pardeep Chhabra says, “All of the allocation is done to show that they will carry out development works worth that amount. But in reality, the MC’s developmental works are dependent only on the grant-in-aid. So even if they say that Rs 500 crore has been allocated, their work will depend only on Rs 100-crore grant given by administration.”

For the public health wing, the civic body had allocated Rs 304.50 crore but they could spend only Rs 14.78 crore. Similarly, in the B and R wing, of the Rs 124.50 crore allocated, the corporation spent Rs 52.82 crore.

Former mayor Arun Sood says, “For example if I require Rs 60, I will demand Rs 100 only. The draft budget and its allocation is just an overview of the works and money that is to be spent on it. If we get less grant from the administration, we know how much more we require according to our draft and we can ask the Centre about that.”

In the financial year 2014-15, the situation was the same. The budget for the B and R wing was Rs 151 crore and the civic body spent only Rs 77 crore. Under the primary health, the civic body allocated Rs 22 crore, of which they spent just Rs 72 lakh.

For the public health, where they allocated Rs 78 crore, they spent just Rs 21 crore. For the infrastructural facilities in villages, of the allocated Rs 4 crore, the civic body spent only Rs 17 lakh. For the construction and renovation of public toilets, the MC allocated Rs 2.5 crore and spent only Rs 46.22 lakh.

Officials claim much depends on the grant-in-aid from the UT Administration. “Like this year, we were expecting a grant-in-aid of Rs 500 crore but we got only Rs 84 crore, so we have no other option but to use the fixed deposits,” says a senior official of the Municipal Corporation.

Chief accounts officer Uma Shankar Sharma says, “The draft budget is just an overview of MC’s vision, the works
it will pursue this year. It is not the final budget.”

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