Here is a view into how Corporation of Cochin makes and spends money. The data is via Corporation of Cochin's September 2009 Income & Expenditure Report. The stark reality from this 7 month report is that there is very little money at the Corporation of Cochin's disposal. Even though there might be a lot of rich people in Kochi, the city itself is very poor.
From a total revenue of Rs. 46.58 Crore (~10 Million Dollars) between April 2009 and September 2009, about 57% of the income goes into expenses and the remaining surplus (43%) goes into the Municipal fund. Out of the Rs. 26.63 Crore (~5 Million Dollars) the Corporation has spent this year, more than half goes towards salaries and employee related allowances. Only about Rs. 4 Crore (~ 800,000 Dollar) is spent on city maintenance.
The reality is in the numbers here; this city makes very little reveune, and so has very little to spend. And from the very little it has to spend, half the income is not utilized, and from the rest very little goes towards actual maintenance and improvement of the city.
Fiscally the city is good at saving money, but with the very little revenue the city has right now, it really needs to rethink it's strategy. It needs to become more efficient at how it utilizes the revenue, put more of it in improving the city, and be willing to spend more on the city.
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Data Source: Corporation of Cochin