AMC unable to meet financial targets

Report says the civic body has not been able to mobilize funds for infrastructure development

Ahmedabad: The authorities at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) have been making tall claims about development and infrastructure in the city. However, if a report by a city-based NGO is to be believed, the reality is rather grim. As the AMC has hardly been able to meet its financial targets over the past six years, infrastructure development gets decelerated, says a report by Pathey.

The NGO analysed the budget of the civic body and prepared a report for the same. “The highest development expenditure was 77% in 2015-16 and the lowest development expenditure was 59% in 2017-18 against the budget estimates. It is the development expenditure which enables the creation of new infrastructure for the city,” said Mahendra Jethmalani of Pathey.

Pathey also mentioned in its report that AMC has never achieved or collected tax or revenue from various sources as planned or estimated.

The AMC missed achieving its revenue target by Rs818 crore in 2013-14, Rs491 crore in 2014-15, Rs390 crore in 2015-16, Rs1,460 crore in 2016-17, Rs1,443 in 2017-18 and is likely to collect Rs965 crore less in 2019-20 as well, according to Pathey budget centre.

Achieving less revenue collection indicates poor tax administration and resource mobilization.

“Less tax collection indicates that one has no money to spend on what has been proposed for development. And the budget analysis of the past five years reveals that the civic body could not achieve their own budgetary promises due to less funds,” said Jethmalani.

The budget outlay for some services is less than 1%, the report says. “We can clearly see what the civic body prioritises. There are services where even 1% of the budget was not allocated. Some of these neglected services in 2019-20 are slum up-gradation (0.84%), fire brigade (0.91%), nutrition in anganwadis (0.78%), heritage (0.31%), safety (0.15%) and library (0.42%). The actual expenditure may be less than what has been estimated,” said Jethmalani.