A quick glance at the BBMP budgets of the recent past show over-estimated revenues – check them out and learn how keep track of city budgets using our Open City platform. BBMP has just set up an online budget feedback form, but before you communicate views make sure you have all the information you need!
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On March 28, 2016, Chairman of BBMP Taxation Committee M Shivaraj gave a speech on the 2016-17 BBMP budget. An analysis by Bharathy Jayaprakash – an analyst with Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy – showed that the budget was largely over-estimated, a consistent phenomenon over the years: the budget went through a 98% increase from 5,394 Cr to 8,991 Cr over the 2015-16 revised estimates.
The lack of revenue to pay off debts restrains BBMP’s actions – but increasing property tax collection since 2014, if furthered, will participate in alleviating BBMP’s 4000 Cr outstanding liability. Additionally, there is a potential for revenues other than property tax – building licence fee, advertisement tax, fines, etc. – to increase; as for now only 14% of BBMP’s total receipts are own revenues.
The insufficiency of BBMP’s above mentioned revenues in regards to its outstanding liability fosters a relationship of dependence with the State of Karnataka. Budgeted State Grants for 2016-17 have more than doubled in comparison with 2015-16 accounting for 47% of BBMP’s total receipts.
An emphasis on boosting revenue receipts from property tax and other sources of revenues has been on BBMP’s agenda for quite a time. However, as long as the BBMP’s revenue powers are low and its debt structure remains unchanged, it is likely to remain dependent on the State. As a consequence, the BBMP lacks financial resources is strongly felt on the quality of city services and infrastructure.
On a brighter note, BBMP ranked 2nd out of 21 major Indian cities in transparency and citizen participation; partly due to the full disclosure of information relating to individual civic works.
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For more information on how to read and understand budgets, Open Budgets India provides information here.