At a time when the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is facing a massive financial crunch, the Standing Committee has decided to purchase brand new Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (512 GB) for each of its 17 members, including the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and 15 others, who will be resigning from office in February 2021.
Each iPhone variant is likely to cost Rs 1.6 lakh, taking the total expense to Rs 27.23 lakh, The New Indian Express reported.
The committee approved the proposal on Thursday, December 17 in a meeting chaired by Hyderabad Mayor Bonthu Rammohan at the GHMC head office.
This bomb of an expense amid major financial challenges in the state has raised eyebrows, especially when the GHMC is struggling to pay its own staff.
For the last few months, the committee members had been demanding for iPhones for all corporators. However, the members decided to restrict their demands when they were informed that purchasing the smartphone would cost over Rs 2.50 crore.
In another decision, it also approved the draft budget worth Rs 5,600 crore for 2021-22 as against the current fiscal's Rs 5,380 crore, without bringing in any changes.
The current year budget, however, has been revised to Rs 5,500 crore from Rs 5,380 crore, an increase of Rs 120 crore.
As per the proposed GHMC budget for 2021-22, the revenue expenditure is Rs 2,414 crore, while the capital expenditure stands at Rs 3,186 crore.
Of the total capital expenditure, about Rs 560 crore has been earmarked for a green budget, Rs 445 crore for land, Rs 1,582.51 crore for buildings, bridges, flyovers, roads and pavements, Rs 170 crore for stormwater drains, Rs 131.87 crore for water supply and the remaining for streetlights, vehicles.
Reacting to the announcement, the BJP has said that it would not allow such unilateralism in the upcoming GHMC council and standing committee.