The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration has spent the Rs 18.4 crore allotted in the civic budget, to bear 50 per cent of the medical expenditure of the urban poor, within the first seven months of the financial year. As no funds are left for the scheme, the civic body has proposed to divert funds meant for purchasing dog-catching vehicles and employing staff to check the dog menace, and the money from the Mayor’s fund.
In a proposal tabled in front of the PMC Standing Committee, Additional Municipal Commissioner Sheetal Teli-Ugale said the civic body had, in the financial year 2018-19, allocated Rs 18.4 crore for the monetary assistance scheme.
Those with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh are considered to be urban poor and are eligible to avail the benefits of the scheme by registering themselves with the civic body. The PMC helps them with 50 per cent of their expenditure, up to Rs 1 lakh, to treat serious ailments. A total of 10,569 families had registered under the scheme this year and 9,083 availed the benefits till October- end.
“The budgetary allocation was over by October-end. It is expected that an additional Rs 2.49 crore for implementation of the scheme will be needed till March-end next year. So, there was a need to divert the funds to continue the scheme,” she said. The proposal pointed out that the PMC was unlikely to spend some part of the funds meant for the purchase of 11 dog-catching vans for ward offices and employing staff on a contract basis.
The civic administration said about Rs 64 lakh would remain unspent from the funds meant for buying dog-catching vehicles, Rs 35.51 lakh from the funds for employing staffers to catch dogs, and Rs 1.5 crore from the Mayor fund.