BBMP changes bill payment system for the second time in a year

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The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Head Office (BBMP building) at Hudson circle in Bengaluru.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Head Office (BBMP building) at Hudson circle in Bengaluru. , Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) introducing a change in the payment system — delegating payment powers to zonal Chief Engineers (CE) — has raised several questions. The fresh system has also not gone down well with the contractors whose payments are pending.

The BBMP has now commenced payments of works completed under BBMP grants and released ₹411 crore. The amount pertains to bills generated between April 2021 and September 2021. However, the payment power has now been delegated to CEs from Zonal Commissioners. This is the second time the BBMP has introduced a change in the system, first being in October 2022.

first change

In October 2022, BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath issued an order transferring payment power from the accounts department to zonal commissioners. The contractors then objected to the new system saying this would further complicate the payment process as they have to knock on the doors of commissioners at the zonal level for every bill. This system continued until payments were frozen.

Now, another change in the system has irked the contractors.

KT Manjunath, BBMP Contractors’ Association President, said this will add to the already existing tables for movement of files, delaying the payment process. He said there was no rationale behind this system and Mr. Giri Nath has to come clear as to why there was a change. He urged Mr. Giri Nath to reintroduce the old system and alleged that the new system may lead to corruption.

Payments have started

The BBMP has already released money to accounts of chief engineers, who will clear payments after inspection. According to sources, payment has started and several contractors have received the money.

Mr. Giri Nath told NEInfo that the new system was put in place in the interest of contractors and to ensure transparency.

In the old system, when zonal commissioners were holding powers, they were becoming party to the bills, which had the potential to hamper checks and balances in the system. Now, the zonal commissioners who are kept out of this system will scrutinize impartially, he said. Moreover, the payment is fast-tracked, he added.

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