Raising doubts over whether the Shiv Sena may be losing its complete control over the financial matters in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the mayor’s discretionary fund was curtailed by half in the run-up to the passing of the civic budget for 2016-17. Sources in the administration and various political leaders in the BMC said the sum is down to Rs 50 crore from the Rs 100 crore allocated in the last two years.
The Mayor’s Fund is distributed to various parties at the discretion of the mayor.
Officials in the finance department stated that corporators across parties were lobbying to get as much funds for their party as possible. “We were thinking of not allotting any funds at all. But all things considered, a sum of Rs 50 crores will be allotted to the Mayor at best,” said a civic official.
The curtailing of the mayor’s funds also comes just months after allegations over irregularities in its disbursal in the recent past.
The Mayor distributes the discretionary funds to wards depending on the development works proposed by corporators. However, with the upcoming elections, the funds hold added significance for corporators who will ask for funds to develop the areas they represent to show during the election campaign.
An official from the finance department stated that there will be a huge pressure on the Mayor now that she has limited funds.
Group leaders had approached the MC asking for a reduction in the amount for the Mayor’s funds.
Despite several calls, neither the Mayor Snehal Amberkar nor the municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta could be reached for a comment.