PUNE: Veteran labour leader and activist Baba Adhav, while speaking at a public talk in the city on Thursday, said that corporators nowadays behave like kings in their wards. He was one of the speakers at a programme on ‘Public Analysis of PMC budget 2018’, organised by the Lokayat organisation.
Adhav said that the budget is a complicated matter and one that should be discussed accordingly. Adhav, who himself has been a PMC corporator, stressed that one should not only stop at analysing the budget, but follow it up with the PMC through procedural remedies available to them.
He said, “One cannot understand the discrimination in the policy by just comparing figures of the budget. One needs to have a comprehensive view of the issues.”
Jeetendra, an activist with Lokayat and a speaker at the programme, said that the PMC budget is discriminatory and inaccessible.
“A city budget should be accessible, easy to understand and self explanatory. The PMC budget has still not been uploaded online. The approved budget is complicated and difficult to understand for not just common people but for corporators even,” Jeetendra said.
He added that the budget discriminates on gender and caste and other weak sections of the society. “The budget allocation for development of Dalit localities has been reduced to around Rs 3 crore from last year’s Rs 9 crore allotment. Backward Class funds of around Rs 124 crore have been diverted to various heads like Primary Education, PMPML and Health,” he said, adding, “There is zero rupee allocation for senior citizen pensions, cultural harmony programmes and disability support.”
Tanmay Kanitkar, founder of an organisation called ‘Parivartan’, said that the way that funds with the corporators are spent shows their priorities.
“Every corporator gets almost Rs 20 lakh as corporator funds. In a study that was carried out by our organisation since 2012, it was found that the largest expenditure of corporator’s funds was made not on sewage or human resources but on iron benches.”
Subhash Ware of the SM Joshi Socialist Foundation said the budget needs not only an analysis but a serious follow up. “We in the people’s movements need to take a broader view of such things as the budget. We need to not only analyse the budget but also come up with alternative perspectives and proposals and we will do that soon,” Ware said.