Finance department opposes Rs 6,000-cr grant to Bangalore

By Prakash VL

While the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai recently announced an infrastructure push of Rs 6,000 crore to repair Bengaluru, sources say this project has now encountered harsh weather conditions as the Financial department objected to this.

The grant of Rs 6,000 crore to BBMP under the aegis of the Chief Minister”s Amrita Nagarothana Yojana was recently approved by the cabinet. Under this project, the government has announced the release of a special grant of Rs 2,000 crore each year from 2022-23 to 2024-25.

The officials of the Finance ministry objected to the move, saying: “There is a proposal from the administrative service for providing Rs 2,000 crore to the CM scheme.

But, there is a pending fund of Rs 9,000 crore according to Bangalore approved Nava Nagarothana Yojana. Thus, the administrative department is considering modifying the proposal.

As a result of this addendum, the state government faces an awkward situation to approve the project, without verifying the availability of funds. Many had also blamed this as a publicity stunt earlier as the BJP the government was watching the upcoming BBMP polls.

At present, it is planned to contract a loan and the project should be implemented in five years instead of three. The finance department suggested taking out a 40% loan from the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) and the remaining 10% should come from own resources. Under this arrangement, the government will release only Rs 3,000 crore for five years. This will add a burden to the cash-strapped BBMP. A source said the government approved the project following pressure from city lawmakers who were facing public anger over poor infrastructure.

The BBMP in crisis

As per instructions from the finance department, the BBMP is to secure a loan of Rs 2,000 crore from KUIDFC and Rs 1,000 crore from its own resources. But, the finances of the BBMP are already stressed. It faces difficulties in paying the salaries of civil servants and staff and maintenance. Since September 2019, he has retained the balance of Rs 3,229 crore to contractors. Every month, the civic body spends Rs 300 crore on salaries and other purposes. It spends Rs 75 crore on waste management; The 3,500 rupees collected from property taxes are spent on salaries and other expenses. In this situation, the question arises as to how the BBMP will raise the funds.

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