GVMC to involve people in preparation of budget

Ward volunteers will collect inputs from citizens on their requirements, says Commissioner

In a new initiative to involve people in the preparation of the budget, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is launching ‘My City My Budget’ programme in association with a Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation Janaagraha Centre For Citizenship and Democracy (JCCD).

As part of the initiative, the corporation will receive inputs from citizens. The GVMC has entered into a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the JCCD here on Wednesday.

Speaking to the media after signing the MoU here on Wednesday, GVMC Commissioner G. Srijana said that in the first phase of the programme, the ward volunteers would collect inputs from citizens over the requirements or basic amenities in their area relating to roads, drainage, footpath, parks, drinking water supply and others. Each volunteer would be given the responsibility to look after 50 to 100 houses and as part of this campaign, the volunteer would take inputs from 10 houses covering the locality or ward.

Online feedback

Apart from volunteers, people can give their inputs through online — https://www.janaagraha.org/vizag/ — she said.

“Before preparing our final budget, the inputs will be studied, analysed and given importance. We will include important inputs in the budget,” said Ms. Srijana hoping that this campaign would increase satisfaction level of people and would also act as guidance for preparing the budget.

The Commissioner said that with the Ward Sachivalayam system the entire process would be completed within three days.

Speaking about the campaign, Head Civic Participation, JCCD, Srinivas Alavilli, said that generally a corporation budget is prepared keeping in view the last year budget and observations by the officials, Engineering Department and others. Representations from e-Spandana will be also considered.

But ‘My City My Budget’ is totally a community participation programme. Citizens will play a key role in making the city budget, he added.

The project was launched as a pilot project in 2015, in a few wards in Bengaluru. In 2018-19, the campaign had received 93,411 inputs. The corporation had included inputs worth ₹600 crore in the final budget. This year also the campaign was completed, he said. Mr. Srinivas also said that Janaagraha has also started to work in Mangalore.

He said that since it is the first phase, inputs from 10 houses will be received. In the next phases, the number of houses will be gradually increased.

According to Ms. Srijana, as part of the MoU apart from the participatory budget campaign, the organisation will also undertake a study on GVMC finances and work towards improving its financial health. It would also strive to improve the civic body’s revenues using technical analysis and process improvements.

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