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Budget hinges on Telangana State's grants

Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation
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Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation office

Highlights

After that jumbo annual budget of Rs 1,431 crore a couple of years ago, the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) seems to be back on the rails without going for the needless pomp

Warangal: After that jumbo annual budget of Rs 1,431 crore a couple of years ago, the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) seems to be back on the rails without going for the needless pomp. However, compared to the Rs 305.06 crore budget in 2020-21 financial year, the annual draft budget proposed for 2021-22 fiscal has gone up by Rs 254.71 crore.

In the absence of an elected body, the authorities projected the annual budget at Rs 559.77 core for 2021-22 financial year. It may be mentioned here that the tenure of the 2016-elected urban local body (ULB) ended on March 14. Since then, the GWMC has come under the thumb of Special Officer Rajeev Gandhi Hanumanthu, the Urban District Collector. In a nutshell, the budget allocation was based on ULB's income Rs 183 crore and the grants Rs 375 crore.

The huge challenge before the civic body is to achieve that revenue receipts. Going by last year's figures, the civic body had failed to collect 100 per cent property tax. It may be mentioned here that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report pointed out that the GWMC made a mess in collecting the environmental impact fee in the city. As a result, the ULB had lost at least Rs 35.75 lakh income.

The gist of the budget indicates that the ULB's progress was based on the State's grants. It may be noted here that the government had allocated Rs 250 crore for the development of Warangal city in its annual budget. It indicates that a special development fund Rs 300 crore per annum announced by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao a few years ago is no more in vogue.

Speaking to The Hans India, Forum for Better Warangal president Pulluru Sudhakar said, "Although the budget appears to be realistic, the authorities need to focus on its own income sources, especially property tax, trade license and rents, which they failed miserably last year." As a result, the budget showed a reduced income of Rs 21 crore compared to last fiscal. While the ULB's income by its own resources was Rs 204 crore last year, it was pegged at Rs 183 crore this year.

Referring to the garbage collection fee, Sudhakar questioned the rationale of the method.

Instead of imposing fees based on the plinth area, the authorities need to rethink and find a solution.

The projected income

Property tax - Rs 80 crore

♦ Rents - Rs 19.50 crore

♦ Garbage collection fee - Rs 7.70 crore

♦ Water tax -Rs19.02 crore

♦ Pattana Pragathi - Rs 84 crore

♦ Grants (State) - Rs 275 crore

♦ Other grants – Rs 9.85 crore

Expenditure

♦ Salaries - Rs 62 crore

♦ Sanitation - Rs 15.50 crore

♦ Power bill - Rs 16.30 crore

♦ Green budget - Rs 18.35 crore

♦ Engineering - Rs 24.46 crore

♦ General works - Rs 15.85 crore

♦ Town planning -Rs 2.90 crore

♦Slum development - Rs 13.37 crore

♦ Merged villages development -Rs 9.37 crore

♦ Division development - Rs 14.74 crore

♦ Non plan expenditure - Rs 90 crore

♦ Planned expenditure - Rs 275 crore

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