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Amid din, Gurugram civic body tables its largest ever Budget

Gurugram: The 2018-19 Budget for the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), tabled by the BJP-led civic body, was expected to be a Budget of various firsts for the civic body.
However, the Budget instead generated saw a lot of controversy and heated discussion among various councillors.
The division was evident on Saturday as there were only 26 councillors out of 35 councillors that attended the event.
Not only was there widespread disapproval by the councillors over the inflated revenue projection, the transparency of the exercise was also questioned with mediapersons being denied entry.
The reason cited for lack of entry to mediapersons was the restricted space for the professionals covering the budget.
Some councillors claimed there was no discussion on the crucial aspects of where the money is going to be spent.
Others also mentioned that much of the expenses were unwarranted, as most of the development works are being undertaken by Gurugram Municipal Development Authority (GMDA).
For the current fiscal year, MCG has set a Budget outlay of Rs 1,884 crore, while the revenue projection has been put at Rs 2,290 crore.
Most councillors, however did not seem to be impressed by the claims.
In addition to expressing their dissatisfaction over the inflated expenses, many councillors even raised questions on the huge jump of revenue set by the public officials and the BJP councillors.
Amid much din, Mayor Madhu Azad provided some key figures of the Budget. Collections from property tax, which was set at Rs 15 crore the previous year, increased to Rs 150 crore in 2018-19.
Revenue from advertisements also saw a huge jump from Rs 15 crore to Rs 100 crore, and collection from excise duty was set at Rs 150 crore, compared to last year's Rs 135 crore.
In the budget outlay of Rs 1,884 crore, the bulk of expenses have been concentrated into development activities.
MCG officials highlighted that this time, focus would be on improving issues of waste management, sanitation and road infrastructure.
At a time when Gurugram residents are staring at prospects of an impending water crisis, MCG also will spend a sizeable amount of the Budget on water harvesting and revival of ponds in the city.
Opening a medical college and a citizen complaint centre was also mentioned in the civic body's Budget.
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