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

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.