Bengaluru budget: Major fiscal overhaul for BBMP on the cards
The proposed overhaul, which is likely to be rolled out in the first quarter of the new financial year, borrows best practices from various sources.
The proposed overhaul, which is likely to be rolled out in the first quarter of the new financial year, borrows best practices from various sources such as the National Municipal Accounting Manual.
“It’s a major system we are bringing called Palike Accounting System 2017,” BBMP Special Commissioner (finance) Manoj Rajan said. The system will replace the outdated fund-based accounting system to a more robust one. BBMP will also propose introduction of concurrent and social auditing in the upcoming budget, and bringing in financial accounting units to handle asset registers and standardise various procedures, Rajan said.
Bengaluru’s latest pitch in its bid to be a smart city talks of creating a multi-agency dashboard, an open data portal for citizens, 3D mapping of public assets and property using drone technology and an online project information system.
These measures, experts believe, are necessary for Bengaluru to be in the league of Mumbai and Chennai. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which covers an 438 sq km, spends Rs 26,658 on each citizen, which is almost 500% more than what the BBMP spends on a Bengalurean (Rs 4,474). The per capita spend in Chennai is also higher.
“Mumbai has proper enterprise resource planning (ERP) and IT systems. Chennai also has good dashboards for various levels of management,” said Ashok Rao, executive director at Management and Governance Consulting Pvt Ltd.
The city’s agencies need to be given greater powers over their revenues and finances, according to Janaagraha CEO Srikanth Viswanathan. “But this should be ring-faced by a policy framework mandating audited annual accounts, performance management systems and medium-term fiscal plans - all of which are publicly disclosed in a meaningful manner.”