News & Notes 620:Budget Announcement
The Budget Coordination Committee (BCC) has finalized the new budget for this year and it has been endorsed by Financial and Asset Management Committee (FAMC).
Due to a better than projected balance at the end of the financial year 2014-'15 in, the BCC is glad to announce two major developments: the creation of an In Kind budget and a substantial raise in Maintenances levels, including Children Maintenances. These two developments will simultaneously address two issues: the difficulty Aurovilians dependent on maintenance experience in supporting themselves and their families, and the fact that increasingly one has to pay for things in Auroville.
Please find below the budget summary for the year 2015-16:
- Budget allocations by the City Services for regular activities and services have been raised on an average by 6% (instead of 10% last year) due to GOI's ability to check the inflation level, which stands at approximately 4% right now.
- Creation of a common In-Kind Budget: To counter the growing trend in the community towards cash exchange for even basic services and facilities, the BCC is creating an In-Kind budget head with Rs.45 lakhs set aside for the purpose. This will not be disbursed immediately. Which services can be covered under this and how they will be covered will be decided in consultation with FAMC and with feedback from the community.
- Individual maintenance (full-time) has been raised to Rs.13,080 - which is a substantial increase by 18.5% from the current support: This includes - Rs. 10,000 in the cash/individual kind accounts, Rs. 1,200 for food in kind (used in PTDC, PTPS, HERS etc.), Rs. 1,430 in lunch-scheme, and Rs. 450 for Health Fund. [Please note that for Aurovilians receiving their maintenance through City Services the Rs. 3,150 individual contribution is waived and they can also access a number of advantages in kind, such as dental, visa/passport expenses, Personal Emergency Fund, House repair, etc.]
- Individual maintenance (half-time): This will include Rs. 5,000 in the cash/individual in-kind accounts, Rs. 600 for food in kind, Rs. 1,430 in lunch-scheme, and Rs. 450 in Health Fund. However, only half of the Auroville contribution will be covered by the City Services. The other half will have to be contributed by the individual unless otherwise agreed with HRT (Mothers with small children and others unable to work full time).
- The maintenance amount will be divided equally between Cash and Kind account, i.e. Rs. 5,000 in each account for full-time maintenance. At the same time Financial Service will keep these two accounts clearly distinct since the Kind account is not meant to draw cash out of but to enable transactions within the community (i.e. kind to kind account).
- BCC keeps receiving comments that Aurovilians in services do not always work full time. To address this, the different services and activities will be asked for written confirmation of individual involvement before HRT disburses this level of maintenance. We realize that there is no time now to ask for services and activities for an endorsement of full time involvement from the Aurovilians working there. We therefore request that this endorsement be sent to us at the earliest. In the meantime, for the present, maintenances will be disbursed as per the current list.
- Children maintenances have been raised by 20%.
- Individual Contribution:
- The City Services individual contribution has been raised to Rs 3,150/- from October 2015 to effectively cover for inflation. Aurovilians who do not work for the community will be asked to contribute the equivalent of one full time maintenance over and above their own City Services contribution. Guideline is flexible but this issue needs to be tackled. Human Resources Team (HRT) will follow up.
- Aurovilians who receives a maintenance from CS and are at the same time executives of a unit or activity will need to pay their contributions to the CS from the unit or activity. Home stay managers have to pay their individual CS contribution from the 80% of the Home Stay income which goes to them.
- Kindly note that the BCC is also engaged with Auroville Board of Commerce (ABC) and FAMC to try and come to an agreement on basic maintenance level for all.
Thanking you, Sincerely,