Taking a lesson from the previous year’s performance where only 25 per cent of the budgetary allocations were utilised until January this year, civic chief Ajoy Mehta has promised maximum implementation of the budget in the coming financial year. Taking measures to avoid the occurrences of multiple scams such as the Rs 150-crore drain desilting scam and the irregularities in road contracts worth Rs 2000 crore, the BMC has now decided to introduce application-based monitoring of expenditures.
Mehta stated that in the past years, tenders would often be invited only by October, following which projects would never kick off on time and half the allocated funds would not be utilised. He said in order to optimise the implementation of projects, all projects will be rolled out at the beginning of the financial year, to ensure they are completed by the end of the year.
Stating that the rebudgeting of provisions in subsequent years’ budgets is “indeed not a pleasant state of affairs”, Mehta promised that a project mode including meticulous planning and constant monitoring would now be the norm.
“I have directed all additional municipal commissioners to periodically review utilisation of budget provisions allocated to various departments under their jurisdiction to ensure timely utilisation of budget provisions, transparency and timely utilisation of works. A specific timeline has been given to float tenders for works included in the current year’s budget estimates,” Mehta said, promising financial discipline.
Among other measures, the civic body has created an application that will reflect real-time updates on the expenditures made for projects and the information will be accessible to additional municipal commissioners.
“Monitoring the departments will drastically increase in the new financial year. Currently, we can see the budget spent in the department, in the sector and the head level. We are developing an application-based monitoring that will include the sub-head as well. All this will be updated on a real-time basis,” said a senior civic official.
Also, all departments have been asked to prepare timelines for each project. The BMC will also appoint budget leaders responsible for keeping a close watch on the work. Monthly meetings will also be conducted to check this.