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Maharashtra civic bodies defy budget e-report norm
May, 21st 2012

General apathy on the part of civic officials across the state is ensuring that information, which has to be mandatorily shared with citizens, is being kept out of the public domain for the last four years.

The Maharashtra Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils (Second Amendment) Act, 2007 came into force on March 1, 2008. Under this act, all municipal corporations, councils and nagar panchayats have to compulsorily publicize how their budget is being spent every financial quarter. The information must be provided within two months of the end of a quarter through newspapers or on the corporation's website. The audited statements for the entire financial year have to be publicized within three months of the end of the financial year.

Urban development department (UDD) officials said even after the notification they have been regularly informing various local self-government bodies to release the information on their website but it is not being followed. For the first two quarters, the BMC uploaded the details on its website, however, thereafter it was stopped.

"The finance department uploaded the information for the first two quarters. Later, we informed all departmental heads that they must individually provide the information to the IT department, which would upload the data," said Ram Dhas, chief accountant (finance).

M L Narvekar, director, IT, said he was unaware as to why no department had bothered to provide the information to his department. The BMC is not the only civic body guilty of the act of omission. Not a single civic corporation or council has been providing the data, sources said.

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