Debate at the Board of the Corporation on Plan expenses
The Plan’s record spending figures in the City Corporation in the 2021-22 fiscal year led to a heated debate at a board meeting on Saturday, with the opposition Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party and the Front United Democratic (UDF) accusing the decision before showing inflated figures by making installments for various works related to the department. However, in her response, Mayor Arya Rajendran hit back by presenting the spending figures under various headings and said the opposition should refrain from overlooking the hard work of the Corporation’s employees.
The civic body had recorded plan fund expenditure of 93.81% in the previous financial year, spending ₹203.5 crore out of the allocated ₹216 crore. BJP Advisor K. Anilkumar, who opened the discussion, asked how many of the 117 projects planned last year had been completed. He also said that the company has made deposits with Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Kerala Water Authority (KWA), Sewers, Pradhan Manthri Awaz Yojana and other ministries which has helped it. to show an increase in plan expenses. BJP adviser Mr Gopan has called for a special council meeting to discuss the figures in detail.
In his response, the mayor laid out the spending figures under different wings. She said that of the 1,209 civil works planned for the year, 799 have been completed while 410 are progressing. Civil works of about ₹1 crore were carried out in all quarters. More beneficiaries have been identified in social assistance schemes and funds have been disbursed to each of them. The Company provided ₹5.25 lakh each to 306 general category beneficiaries and ₹6 lakh each to 292 SC category beneficiaries for purchase of land for construction of houses. Scholarships were awarded to 325 SC students, she said.
Business in Palakkad
On the allegation of making deposits to departments to show high expenses, she said these are statutory deposits that all local bodies are required to make. A deposit of ₹10 crore was made at KSEB and ₹6 crore at KWA. She also cited the case of the BJP-run Palakkad Municipality which had made deposits of ₹4 crore, out of a total Plan allocation of only ₹24 crore.
UDF Councilor P. Padmakumar proposed a resolution condemning the huge rise in fuel prices and also demanding that Union and State governments reduce taxes. Although LDF advisers supported the resolution, they accused the Congress-led UPA of removing petrol price controls, a move that was later taken by the BJP to also remove the control of diesel prices, leading to daily price increases. BJP advisers blamed the LDF for failing to cut state fuel taxes. The resolution was adopted with amendments and was supported by both the LDF and the UDF.
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