OBJECTIVE: This is to ensure that funds allocated annually are spent on projects
THE Petaling Jaya City Council will, for the first time, form a “budget monitoring committee” to ensure its annual budget is fully utilisedspent. This is to encourage more planned projects to be executed.
Deputy mayor Puasa Md Taib said the allocated sum was not entirely spent in previous years and the balance was channelled to the council’s reserve.
“Last year, the budget allocated for development was not fully used,” he said. The function of the budget monitoring committee is to check if all allocations are spent on the projects as planned.
However, members of the committee are yet to be named.
The council will also engage professional consultants to verify the bill of quantity for projects worth over RM200,000.
The 2013 council budget will be a deficit budget. The council’s revenue, both tax and non-tax income, in 2012 is estimated to be over RM281 million. However the council will include the 2012 revenue and add RM21 million from its reserve. The council has RM300 million in reserves.
On Wednesday, heads of residents’ associations and non-governmental organisations attended the council’s 2013 Budget Planning session.
During the session, residents had the opportunity to present their views, after a brainstorming session with other residents, on how the budget should be spent on four areas — infrastructure, landscape, cleanliness and social aspects.
Resident representative from Section 22, Yoong Lai Hon, 59, who presented the views on the Infrastructure budget, said the council could form smart partnership with the residents.
He said this will enable residents to directly give their input on how the council could maximise the budget for the community.
Yoong said roads with heavy traffic near commercial areas need to be repaved regularly compared with residential roads.
He urged the council to first refer to the Town and Country Planning Act, National Land Code as well as the Selangor Structure Plan before approving any project.
More cycling, park-and-ride facilities should be made available, Yoong said.
Resident association heads should be engaged for a street light and drain audit. They shoud also identify the crime hotspots before CCTVs are placed.
Representing Friends of Kota Damansara, Jeffrey Phang said several green areas were identified for community recreational purposes.
"If the community has elderly residents, the council doesn't need to provide a playground. Instead a green space with suitable amenities will be better.
"We also welcome the council to provide green space for residents to start kitchen and herbal garden," said Phang.
He also called the council to engage resident representatives from the poorer areas.
"They may not be able to attend such brainstorm sessions due to work commitment and financial constraints. Their needs may not be articulated but we must render the necessary aid in their areas, too," he said.
David Zoon, who represented residents living in Bandar Seri Damansara, spoke on matters related to the cleanliness budget. He urged the council to provide bins to dispose bulk waste in neighbourhoods.
"The council could provide bins for residents to move their bulk waste. Since the public are not keen to pay and dispose of their bulk waste, the council can provide this service," he said.
Section 22 representative G. Rajendran, 73, gave his views on the social aspect of the budget. He urged the council to provide incentives for residents' representatives who often visit the council.
"The council could waive the parking fee when they attend council-related events. It is a financial burden for the retirees and those from the poorer areas," he said.
He urged the council to investigate if the council had charged RM2,000 for the use of any of its halls.
He also urged the council to send its representatives for events organised by residents.