Skip to main content

Budget for 2018-19: Ahmedabad authorities "regularly" under-spend allocation

By Mahender Jethmalani*
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC's) General Body (Municipal Board) recently passed the AMC’s annual budget estimates of Rs 6,990 crore for 2018-19. AMC’s revenue expenditure for the next financial year is Rs 3,500 crore and development budget (capital budget) is Rs 3,490 crore.
The revised estimate (RE) of AMC’s revenue expenditure budget for 2017-18 is Rs 2,900 crore against the budget estimates (BE) of Rs 3,241 crore, and the RE for development expenditure is Rs 2,450 crore against the BE of Rs 3,310 crore. Thus, AMC’s budget expenditure registered an under-spending of Rs 1201 crore (18.33%) in 2017-18, as AMC could not mobilize the financial resources as per planned estimates.
In fact, over the last six years, AMC has never been able to mobilize financial resources as planned, hence has not been able to fully spend development expenditure. The maximum development expenditure was 76.82% in 2015-16. It’s the development expenditure which enables the creation of new infrastructure for the city.
As for AMC’s revenue expenditure (salaries to employees, maintenance and repairs, grants etc), it has remained around 85% against the budget estimates in last six years. The less expenditure on revenue side impacts the quality of services to citizens. The revenue expenditure is around 90% due to salary, pension and social security of its employees.
AMC has budgetary provisions to address the needs of all citizens -- children, women and men, senior citizens, slum dwellers, vendors and others. AMC’s governance provides various services and amenities to citizens, but the efficiency and quality of delivery depends on various factors like resource mobilization and expenditure.
The compliance eco-system, where citizens pay their due tax dues regularly, besides financial resources devolved to AMC, help decision making process socially inclusive, transparent and accountable. When AMC fails in mobilizing the financial resources as estimated, the basic service delivery system gets affected and infrastructure development process gets decelerated due to shortage of finances.
AMC has never achieved/collected the tax/revenue from various sources as planned/estimated. The actual revenue collection has been 75% to 85% in the last five years. Achieving less revenue collections indicates poor tax administration and resource mobilization. AMC has been missing the target of revenue mobilization -- the shortfall was to the tune of Rs 827 crore in 2013-14, Rs 847 crore in 2014-15, over Rs 1,000 crore in 2016-17, and would be Rs 983 crore in 2017-18.
AMC’s expenditure budget for 2018-19 has been distributed in 25 functions/categories, as shown in the budget document “Know your City Budget: Where will AMC spend its annual budget of Rs 6990 crore in 2018-19?" Projects like metro and smart city, implemented by Railways and Special Purpose Vehicle respectively are not directly implemented by AMC, hence have very little budgetary outlay.
The budget outlay for some services is less than one percent, which, in a way, indicates the priority attached to that services like slum up-gradation (0.94%), fire brigade (0.9%), Integrated Child Development Service (0.83%), public toilets (0.36%), sports, stadium and gymkhana (0.19%), heritage (0.18%). The actual expenditure would be even less than this.
Presented under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949 (amended to Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act), the budget document shows an outlay for mandatory 10% allocation out of revenue receipt for the welfare of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and other socially and economically backward communities, as per article 63(2) of the Act. Unfortunately, the document does not provide the statement of actual expenditure under it.
AMC needs to enhance its budgetary transparency by providing actual expenditure details for accountable practice for inclusive social justice, as the expenditure is meant for socially disadvantageous and poor people of the city. It should apresent ward-wise budget outlay for development work. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation has been presenting such document, which is the best transparency practice.
AMC should also adopt best practice of the Surat Municpal Corporation’s zone wise receipt and expenditure budget, given in the budget document. Since Ahmedabad city has Gujarat’s 10% population and annual budget more than Rs 6,000 crore, its female citizens deserve better services, and one way is to earmark substantial budget for providing services to women, girls and senior women citizens to address their practical needs of daily life.
In fact, AMC should bring out a gender budget statement within the AMC budget and insert it as an annexure to add value in enhancing transparency level like Mumbai and Pune Municipal corporations do.
---
*Director, Pathey Budget Centre, Ahmedabad. Contact: patheya.budget@gmail.com, patheya.budget@hotmail.com. Website: www.pathey.in

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.