PMC pulls up departments over Rs 200 crore fiscal deficit
In a strongly worded directive, Additional Municipal Commissioner Rajendra Jagtap has asked the heads of all departments to not only furnish details of their expenses and projects, but also suggest new ways in which the cash strapped civic agency can generate revenue
Waking up to the realisation that an acute financial crisis could stall ongoing and proposed development works in the city, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has asked all its department heads to furnish financial records of the past three years. There was a deficit of Rs 200 crore in the corporation’s budget last year, having a direct impact on the implementation of the annual budget for the current fiscal.
CASH CRISIS: Officials said that frequent and unplanned transfer of funds to carry out development works that were not even mentioned in the budget led had to the fiscal deficit in the PMC budget last year. Pic/Mohan Patil
The civic body has also asked all departments to suggest at least three new ways to increase PMC’s revenue. This is perhaps the first time that the civic agency has taken such strong steps to control what has become an alarming financial crisis.
“All department heads should compile data of the last three years’ budget, pinpointing how many developmental works the PMC commissioner had proposed in each department, and how much funds the PMC standing committee had actually allocated,” read a notice issued by Addl Municipal Commissioner Rajendra Jagtap.
Future Tense? The PMC started constructing a four-lane flyover at Swargate. An acute financial crisis in PMC could stall ongoing and proposed development works in the city, say officials. File Pic
For revenue generation, departments including those for property tax and advertising have been asked to submit information regarding the targets set by their respective heads for recovery of pending revenue, and their current status. Jagtap instructed all department heads to gather all the data in three separate columns — one to show how much funds they had spent on developmental works, another to show recovery of pending revenue, and a third to suggest new ways of increasing revenue generation of PMC.
In the recent past, PMC had instructed all departments not to go ahead with any work order without crosschecking with accounts departments to see if there are adequate financial provisions to execute work.
“Making frequent transfer of funds to carry out development works that are not even mentioned in the budget has been a routine practice in PMC, many times due to pressure tactics used by corporators. The standing committee also gives a green signal to such works, which has resulted in a deficit in the budget. If the PMC additional commissioner remains really firm on his current stand, then there is some hope that department heads will think twice before going ahead with such work proposals in the future,” said an official, on strict condition of anonymity.
Surprisingly, PMC standing committee chairman Bapu Karne was not even aware of such a notification being issued by the additional commissioner, and said he would be able to comment only after going through the notification.
Rs 4,150cr PMC’s annual budget for the financial year 2014-15