Mukul Asher quoted in a piece on the BBMP budget

Prof Mukul Asherdeconstructs the BBMP budget and explains the sound financial management practices and budgeting practices that have to be followed.

Bangalore: BBMP? We should call it ‘BB empty’ instead

“These observations come from a well-known economist who has studied the BBMP’s budgets, and has a number of recommendations to make. Mukul Asher, who specialises in public sector economics and social security issues in Asia, made these observations recently when he was in the city for lectures to course participants of the B.PAC Civic Leadership Incubator Program (B.CLIP) being conducted by the Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) with Takshashila Institution as the knowledge partner.”

According to Asher, though the BBMP budgets are classified by departments, line items aggregating to thousands of crores simply state “development works” or “Assembly  constituency works” without mentioning the precise objective or category of work. This  probably where the problem lies. On one hand the BBMP is biting more than what it can chew, and on the other the Palike is opaque about its own expenditure. The way out, Asher asserts, is for individual budgetary allocations aggregating to at least 90 per cent of total expenditure (excluding loan-related payments and overheads such as salaries, etc.), to clearly mention the purpose of the works in terms of either a category or one of the functions of the BBMP (such as solid waste management, storm water drainage, etc).”

Read the rest of the piece here.