Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya presented a deficit budget of Rs 4.6 crore for the financial year 2018-19 for the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) today.

The budget shows the total expenditure at Rs 309 crore, and a total income of Rs 304 crore. However, the target set for revenue income is Rs 45.35 crore this year, which is 10 crore more than last year.

However, Mr Bhattacharya said that the state government has not released funds meant for the civic board since the past three years. He appealed to all the Ward councilors to go with him to Kolkata for the funds.

However, the opposition Trinamul Congress (TMC) opposed the idea. “We will go to Kolkata on 28 of this month and meet ministers concerned and demand the financial assistance from the state government in order to implement the budget proposals properly. We have not received any funds from the state government in the past three years,” Mr Bhattacharya said.

“We have appealed to all the councillors for their support,” he added. Meanwhile, leader of the opposition at the SMC, Ranjan Sarkar, opposed the idea and said, “Mr Bhattacharya, being a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), can place these things in the Assembly. There is no need for us to meet the ministers.”

Expressing his views on the new budget placed by the civic board, Mr Sarkar said the 29-page budget has nothing except “Mr Bhattacharya’s dreams.”

“A very long budget, but it has nothing in it. There are no views or dimensions in the budget. The budget is nothing but a ‘political document’ and the dreams of the mayor,” Mr Sarkar said.

On the same tune, Congress leader Sujoy Ghatak said, “This is a loss budget. There has been no development in the SMC for the past three years.” The budget will be tabled for discussions on 22 March in the SMC.