Mumbai: BMC's Controversial Covid-19 Expenditure Sparks Maharashtra Government Audit; White Paper & Assembly Report Expected In April

Mumbai: BMC's Controversial Covid-19 Expenditure Sparks Maharashtra Government Audit; White Paper & Assembly Report Expected In April

The ruling dispensation has set up a committee in this regard, informed industries minister Uday Samant on Tuesday.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 08:36 PM IST
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While the dust on the BMC's controversial expenditure during the Covid-19 pandemic is yet to settle, the Maharashtra government has now decided to conduct an audit of expenses made by India's richest civic body in the past 25 years. The ruling dispensation has set up a committee in this regard, informed industries minister Uday Samant on Tuesday. The government will also table a white paper after the committee submits its findings, he added. A report is likely to be placed in the next assembly session in April while the audit demand was made by BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar. Speaking earlier on the 'exposure' of alleged rampant corruption in the municipality during Uddhav Thackeray's rule, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier said that this is a trailer and the entire movie is yet to come out.

MLAs cast doubt on BMC's transactions

Talking to media persons on Tuesday, Samant said that a question was raised about the BMC's functioning during the legislative assembly's (ongoing) session. The MLAs have cast doubt on the civic body's transactions done in the past 25 years. “I was designated minister in the assembly to answer the queries relating to the urban development department (UDD). I have informed the assembly that a team of high-level officers, including upper principal secretary of the planning department, UDD principal secretary and the finance audit director, will investigate the BMC's expenditure in 25 years.”

Retorting sharply, Uddhav Thackeray said, “You can conduct an audit of the BMC's spending but the government should also do the same for the Thane, Nagpur, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik municipal corporations. There should also be an audit for the PM CARES fund.” Hitting out at Fadnavis, he said that when Nagpur was sinking, then CM was busy clicking photos with celebrities. “We will not come under pressure. If you put wrong allegations, we will bring the entire truth,” he dared.

BJP targets Shiv Sena (UBT)

After the Shinde-Fadnavis government assumed power, Shiv Sena (UBT) was fervently criticised for alleged irregularities in the BMC, which was under its rule for more than three decades. BJP leaders like Ashish Shelar have time and again slammed former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over alleged shady dealings between contractors and civic officials.

The BMC's expenditure made during November 8, 2020 to February 28, 2022 have already come under scanner after Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) flagged concerns like “lack of transparency and planning and indiscriminate expenditure” on part of the civic body during the pandemic.

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