While the GHMC seems to be raking in the moolah and its coffers show a positive balance, corporators allege that this is because funds are not released for work.
The GHMC is now in the black (under draft). With Rs.70 crore under drawn, the corporators at the helm take credit for this as proof of performance, while the opposition term it as ‘unspent money’ on works. Even as the officials are mum lest this starts a new controversy.
Until June last year, the GHMC was running an overdraft of Rs.350 crore and in 2012 the trend has suddenly reversed. Unlike last year, this year’s financial assessment revealed that the Corporation was working on a positive note in terms of balance in the coffers.
The positive change mostly attributes this to efficiency in property tax collection this year. With almost doubling of the tax rates recently after property tax was revised, the Corporation is poised to be termed as a self sustainable entity, depending less on the State government for its funding. However, rumour is ripe that the GHMC does not wish reveal that it has prospered, as the funds supported by the State government would stop.
Some officials point out that the GHMC has also resorted to ‘cost cutting’ in terms of wasteful spending. While some in the department of finance say that effective fund flow management, field collections, constant monitoring with efficient methods of IT and good day-to-day operations are behind the success story. A senior official however doesn’t find this surprising, as once the GHMC once engages itself in projects there will be a shift in the balance sheet again.
Although the juniors attribute this to the ‘efforts of the commissioner’, MT Krishna Babu does not want to speak on the issue, as it may kick start a row. When Postnoon tried to seek an answer on this subject, the GHMC commissioner averted the query.
While mayor Md Majid Hussain is taking credit for the current ‘financial stability’, the corporators from the Opposition parties directly point out that this was only because of ‘non release of funds’.
“When work is not being done and there is a complete halt, what can be expected?” questions, a floor leader. According to him, the GHMC has not released a single penny for work. “Several works are pending and the Corporation is not releasing funds, how can one expect development, when this is the scenario?” he asks.
How GHMC’s finances improved
- Efficiency in property tax collection.
- Tax rates almost doubled.
- Cost cutting in terms of wasteful spending.
- Effective fund flow management, field collections and constant monitoring.