CRITICISING THE BJP-led Municipal Corporation for passing an ‘’unrealistic” budget and “befooling” the residents as the UT Administration got only Rs 700 crore under the plan head in the Union Budget, Congress councillors created a ruckus in the House meeting here on Monday.
In the special budget meeting held some days ago, the councillors had raised the issue that actual income of the MC was only Rs 158 crore and in the budget they had approved an expenditure of Rs 572.40 crore (plan head) on the city. Of the Rs 572.40 crore, the MC had expected Rs 547.70 crore as grant-in-aid (GIA) from the UT Administration. The MC budget had mentioned “GIA for 2016-17 is subject to actual sanction by Chandigarh administration. If GIA will not be released as per demand, the expenditure of budget object will not be incurred accordingly”. Under the plan head, all development works are carried out while under the non-plan head, salaries of employees and other funds are managed.
However, after the declaration of the total plan budget of just Rs 700 crore to the administration, the hopes to receive the expected amount in GIA were dashed. On the basis of this GIA, the MC had made plans to carry out various development works in the city.
“Do you think the local administration which itself got Rs 700 crore under the plan head will give Rs 550 crore to MC? It was a useless budget. People have been befooled,” said Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra.
Congress councillor Subhash Chawla said, “We had pointed it out that despite repeated requests last year, the administration had given only Rs 102 crore against our demand for Rs 350 crore. There was no point in passing the unrealistic budget knowing that the money which we are showing in the expenditure will never come.”
During the ruckus, the Congress handed lollipops to Mayor Arun Sood. In the melee that ensued, a glass kept in front of Sood broke. Upset at this, Sood walked out with Joint Commissioners Rajiv Gupta and Virender Chaudhary. After a few minutes, they came back.
Congress councillor Chawla told the mayor that the glass broke accidentally and they apologised for it. However, Sood said that this wasn’t the way to make their point in the House.