Pune: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to set a new trend by allowing citizens’ participation in the civic budget at the policy level. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Standing Committee Chairman Murli Mohol has appealed to citizens to give suggestions and ideas, which could be included in the budget. The standing panel will present it before the general body soon. This is the first time the ruling party has decided to involve citizens in the budget.
Explaining the concept, Mohol told Sakal Times, “Inspired by Union Minister Arun Jaitley and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who introduced the idea in in their respective budgets last year, I thought it good for the city. The purpose is to involve citizens in the process. I have named it as ‘Maza Arthsankalp’ (My Budget).”
He said, “There are prominent people in the city, who have expertise in various sectors. Educationists, economists, engineers, bureaucrats, IT professionals, industrialists, civic activists etc, who can submit their ideas, suggestions to the standing committee. We will scrutinise their suggestions and discuss them with committee members and the administration. The PMC is facing many problems in terms of revenue generation and utilisation of funds. We will try to incorporate their suggestions on development projects in the budget. If they are related to a policy, we will ask the general body to discuss them.”
“At present, citizens have the right to give suggestions under the participatory budget programme. However, it has limited scope, as they make suggestions related to their ward only. Now, they can focus on the entire city’s development,” he added.
The Standing Committee has appealed to people to file online applications to submit their ideas and suggestions on www.pmc.gov.in between February 5 and February 10, till 6.00 pm.
Recently, Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar tabled the draft budget, amounting to Rs 5,397 crore for 2018-19. Now, the Standing Committee will deliberate on it and seek approval from the general body.