To ensure that the initiative of citizens participatory budget becomes more effective,the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),along with social organisations,has decided to make it more systematic by publicising and implementing it to the maximum.
The PMC has invited suggestions from citizens on development work within the expenditure limit of Rs 5 lakh,with a provision of maximum budgetary provision of Rs 50 lakh per electoral panel. We have invited citizens suggestions for work that is within the cost of Rs 5 lakh. Citizens can suggest any number of work but no single work should be above the Rs 5 lakh, said Ulka Kalaskar,PMC chief accountant.
She said that there has been a good response to the initiative in the last few years as the works are directly executed by ward offices.
There is no 100 per cent implementation of the budgetary implementation but it is the most that can be done compared to the expenditure for other works, Kalaskar said,adding that there might be practical problems in executing some work despite availability of money under the budget.
Civic activist Vivek Velankar said the PMC initiative does not yield expected results due to non-disclosure of actual implementation of participatory budget. The PMC invites suggestions from citizens. They are submitted and some find place in budget while others are dropped due to technical reasons. Further,not all mentioned in the budget are implemented. The PMC should have a feedback mechanism where citizens are informed about their suggestions and the status, he said,adding that no response discourages citizens from participating in the initiative.
We are not satisfied with the way the PMC implements participatory budget and have asked them to make the previous years results public, Velankar said.
Naim Keruwala of Janwani said that they have decided to work towards effective implementation of the participatory budget. We would take up public outreach program on the issue till September 10 and thereafter would provide assistance to citizens for making suggestions,drafting letter and making estimate, he added.
Senior citizens and self-help groups would be given the responsibility of public outreach,Keruwala said,adding that the technical expertise for making proposals and estimates would be done through experienced citizens or civil engineering students. Janwani would urge institutes in management,political science,engineering to join them in the participatory budget initiative, he added.