Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is heading toward a deep financial crisis as its income is dwarfed by its expenditure.
The civic body's finance department officials lament that within less than two months, the corporation might not be able to pay salaries to its employees and it has no option but to depend on loans to take up the government's flagship programmes like the Strategic Road Development Plan, Comprehensive Road Maintenance and regular maintenance works.
According to the GHMC official, the government is yet to release `380 crore which has been sanctioned by the Centre as a part of the 14th Finance Commission. This apart, revenue collection has been badly hit due to re-shuffle of field staff.
The corporation has encashed fixed deposits worth Rs 1,000 crore and used the overdraft facility to fund ongoing projects. The civic body has been already borrowed Rs 495 crore through municipal bonds with 10 per cent interest. Though the corporation has prepared the ground to fund the SRDP with Rs 2,500 crore term loans (RTL) at about 10 per cent interest rate and handed over the maintenance of 709 arterial roads with an estimated cost of Rs 1,827 crore, it is still short of money.
Though the government has assured providing `100 crore every month to rescue the corporation from the financial crisis, officials claimed that with heavy interest rates and expenditure, the corporation would be bankrupted in less than two months and it would not pay salaries during January.
A senior GHMC official, on condition of anonymity, said that the civic body has been paying about `300 crore towards salaries of employees and has been spending about `120 crore on maintenance work on a monthly basis.
It has collected only about `250 crore each in September, October and November. The official said that the corporation could not even collect `10 crore in the past 10 days which has been the worst ever, since the inspection of the GHMC.
"If the situation continues, the civic body would not be able to pay salaries," he said. To make things worse, the government had now said it would not release the budgetary allocation to the GHMC, he said.
When queried about the government's flagship programmes like the SRDP, he said the GJMC was not in a position to take up those projects. Instead, the corporation has to depend on loans with the government's assurance....