A proposal to raise the financial cap for civil work contracts (CWCs) issued by corporators of BMC was discussed at the group leaders’ meeting this week.
Ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections later this year, party leaders of the civic body are mulling the possibility of increasing the Rs 5 lakh limit for each work tender as a way of effectively using their allotted funds.
In the 2014-2015 fiscal budget, the cash-rich BMC, from its total outlay of budget of Rs 31,178.19 crore, allotted Rs 1 crore each for its 227 corporators’ Development Fund, which is a 150 per cent hike from their prevailing fund of Rs 40 lakh each. Additionally, the elected representatives are also entitled to a ‘Councillor Fund’ of Rs 60 lakh, bringing the total amount due to each for carrying out petty works in their respective constituencies up to Rs 1.6 crore.
“The CWC issue was one of the main points of discussion in the group leaders meeting. We discussed the idea of increasing corporators’ financial limit to award tenders. However, the exact sum of increase is yet to be decided. This will only be decided after comparing each corporator’s budget with their current financial limit,” said MNS party leader, Sandeep Deshpande.
Further, in the 2014-2015 budget, additional funds of varying sums, ranging from 15 crores to 1 crore, were also allocated for additional works in the 227 electoral wards .
According to Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Rais Shaikh, group leaders also debated the controversial e-tendering system which was introduced in 2012 for bringing transparency to the system of awarding CWC tenders to contractors. While the Shiv Sena and BJP have supported 100 per cent e-tendering, members of the opposition criticised the new online system for its technical glitches and demanded a return to the old manual system, which is known to be susceptible to corruption.
“There were many differing opinions on this matter, most leaders wanting to revert to the old system. Personally, I think the current e-tendering system is defunct and needs to be remodeled if it is to be effective,” said Shaikh.
However, Shiv Sena leader Trushna Vishwasrao said, “The e-tender system is here to stay and we do not feel the financial limit for the tenders should be changed.”
The group leaders will reconvene the discussion at their next meeting slated July 21.
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