Mangaluru, Nov 29, 2016: It is understood that a meeting was organised by the MCC, City Corporation at its main office at Lalbagh on Nov 28, Monday to elicit opinions from stakeholders before drafting the budgetary outlay for the next fiscal, 2017-18. Most of the people wanted the Corporation to evade unnecessary expenditures and check pilferage in revenue to improve its coffers.
Expenditure : Civil activist Hanumanth Kamath warned the authorities against unbridled expenditure without pondering over its pros and cons. He cited the example of furnitures lying idle in most of the government offices as the purchase went beyond the needed. Stressing on incorporating measures that could bring in more revenue to the local body, Kamath urged the authorities to collect rent from the departments to lay underground cables, on the lines of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Moreover, there should be adequate checks and balances with advertisement being the revenue spinner. It would be better to collect records related to ownership of lands before permitting advertisers to utilise the space.
Kamath said such stern measures will benefit MCC as not less than one crore rupees is lost in pilferage, from the hoardings installed from Kavoor to Mangaluru International Airport junction alone. He also demanded keeping a tab on patch work as most of the works are substandard owing to bad execution. Endorsing Kamath, Corporator Naveen D’Souza said the Corporation spends not less than Rs three crore to Rs four crore on patch works.
Civil activist G K Bhat reminded the authorities to give due significance to common man by constructing adequate number of bus shelters and footpaths. Reiterating his demand for building more bus stops, Bhat pointed at a stretch of road from State Bank circle to the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd (Campco) junction, where a large number of bus stops that existed earlier have been reduced to one. The height of road dividers in the city should also be increased as many fatal mishaps have been reported.
Revenue : Another activist offered to help the authorities in increasing the revenue to Rs 50 crore by arresting pilferage. He said Rs two crore more can be collected from issuing khatas, while Rs 1.35 crore can be generated from the engineering section (which issues licences to build and renovate houses) and Rs two crore from trade licence. Another Rs 17 crore that is going unnoticed in the form of self assessment scheme (SAS) can be checked. The Corporation can also generate revenue to the tune of Rs five crore from vacant sites in its limits, followed by Rs 1.5 crore from advertisement section, said the activist.
Achieves 60% progress : MCC, Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Mohammed Nazeer said that the Corporation has recorded 60% achievement in the budgetary outlay of Rs 657.02 crore approved for the ongoing financial year. Addressing the gathering at Mangala Auditorium during a meeting with citizens to seek their opinion for the forthcoming budget, the Commissioner said, while 60% has been allotted in the form of receipts, 52.89% of payments has been made against the planned expenditure of Rs 655.57 crore for the current fiscal.
The commissioner also said that during the previous year, the Corporation had prepared a budget for Rs 238.74 crore and spent Rs 171.74 crore. During 2014-15, while the budget approved was for Rs 158.07 crore, MCC could spend Rs 136.72 crore. The budget approved for 2013-14 was for Rs 177.18 crore and MCC spent Rs 129.71 crore. For the year 2012-13, Rs 110.72 crore was spent against the proposal of Rs 175.14 crore.
However, many citizens say that why such meetings are not clearly informed in advance, why the so called secrecy? It is essential to make the meetings known in advance through available channels in the media and official machinery so that the discussions can cover better range and be more effective and fulfilling the norms and aims.