IN WHAT appears to the largest budget in its history, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) yesterday agreed to mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman’s proposed RM344mil budget for 2013.
This is to be Roslan’s last budget as Petaling Jaya’s mayor.
It was agreed upon after the councillors felt that the Environmental and Health Department needed extra funds to purchase five roll-on/roll-off lorries as standby waste collection units after residents’ complaints of contractors not fufilling their jobs.
In addition, the current “emergency” funds allocated to expedite council services has been increased by RM3mil to RM7mil.
Meanwhile, many council programmes, such as green assessment rebates for homeowners and parking benefits for hybrid cars purchased in the city will be continued or even expanded.
Free monthly parking passes for hybrid cars are increased from three to six months, while the RM380,000 is allocated to upgrade the city’s backlanes as well as another RM100,000 to continue the backlane LED-lighting campaign.
In terms of social development, active residents’ associations (RA) and Rukun Tetangga (RT) will have their allocations increased — from the current RM3,000 to RM5,000 for RAs, and RM1,000 to RM3,000 for RTs.
RAs and RTs that had successfully instituted Neighbourhood Safety Teams will be given an annual RM5,000 each.
City sanitation has been allotted over RM56mil, with the bulk going towards waste collection and cleaning, while RM500,000 will be used to position new waste disposal and recycling bins in the city. The remaining sum will be spent on cleanliness campaigns and other educational efforts.
Roslan said all three incinerator units at the Kampung Tunku crematorium had been repaired and functioning well.
However, the budget would allocate RM700,000 to purchase another incinerator with maintenance and service level agreements included.
All in all, the increase to RM304mil (minus RM40mil paid through MBPJ’s trust fund) for council expenditures in 2013 represents a 3% deficit, compared with a projected total revenue of RM293.9mil for next year.
In addition, Roslan and deputy mayor Puasa Md Taib explained that the proposed budget monitoring committee, originally mooted in Septem-ber, would be in place next year.
“The council will have to decide on a framework, who will be in the committee and the extent of its powers. But that is for the new mayor to worry about as well,” said Roslan who is currently its out-going mayor.
“The 2013 budget was discussed closely with the councillors and residents throughout September.
“This is probably the second highest local authority budget ever proposed to date, so my only hope is that the council will execute it properly to benefit the residents,” he added.