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

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Is sacrilege charge against Punjab Dalits any different from Pak blasphemy cases?

Lakhbir Singh, his wife By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  There is no doubt that Sikhism actually was a revolt against the Brahmanical system and superstition. Guru Granth Saheb is perhaps the only Holy Book which contains matters from different religions as well as those of various Sufi saints, including Kabir, Ravidas, Baba Farid and others. The aim of Sikhism was to create an egalitarian society, and, definitely, Punjab that way is far better than many other States in India, where violence against Dalits is rampant.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.

Shabana Azmi joins Pak physicist Hoodbhoy to condemn B'desh anti-minority violence

By Our Representative  Several well-known South Asian activists and public figures of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Maldives have expressed “deep distress” by the spate of violence and killings in Bangladesh on the occasion of Durga Puja and Vijayadashami. “Attacks on minorities are a sign of injustice and a matter of shame for any society and bring a bad name to the Government”, they said in a joint statement.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.