DBKL consults KL members of parliament on its deficit budget

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is unable to balance the books for the second consecutive year. Its proposed budget for 2012 records an RM800 million deficit.

The budget, which was unveiled at a meeting between the mayor and members of parliament at DBKL headquarter today, listed the projected expenditure for next year as RM2.17 billion while expected revenue is at RM1.3 billion.

Of the RM2.17 billion, RM1.3 billon has been allocated for  management, while the remaining RM0.8 billion will be utilised for development, such as repaving roads.

When asked why the richest council in the country still cannot make the ends meet, Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail claimed that it is because the budget has a greater allocation for the benefit of the rakyat.

“If we want to slash the budget, we can; but we must take care of the rakyat’s needs,” he told the press after the closed-door meeting with the MPs.

He added that DBKL will be “quite safe” from bankruptcy for the next five years.

He also explained that the managment allocation comprised of operational costs of  the council, which has a staff strength of 10,000, and the maintenance costs of all buildings, infrastructure, property and amenities owned by DBKL.

“It is normal to see management costs exceed development costs,” he said.

It also marked the first time DBKL released its draft budget to the Kuala Lumpur MPs, let alone met with them over it, of whom a majority are from opposition parties.

The MP for Segambut, Lim Lip Eng lauded the move DBKL, noting that he used to know of the budget only from newspapers.

According to Lim, the mayor has pledged to control the budget by fixing the ceiling for staffing costs at 30 percent of the budget.

“He also said he will remove the idea of ┬ácontractual staff, and either offer the current contractual staff full-time positions or dismiss them,” added Lim.

He (below) also noted that 14.7 percent of the total expenditure is for city cleaning, much of which is contracted to Alam Flora.

Meanwhile, the MP for Seputeh, Teresa Kok, pointed out that there should be a larger budget allocation for repairing broken roads and streetlights.

“For instance, my OUG (Overseas Union Garden) area has so many broken roads, and after waiting eight months, they (DBKL) only repave one jalan awam besar (main road),” she said.

She urged DBKL to implement an open tender system to better manage its funds.