Three months before the general elections for the Municipal Corporations of Delhi, the Delhi Assembly has passed a resolution to probe alleged financial mismanagement of the civic bodies. All three bodies — north, south and east — are currently headed by the BJP but received funding from the AAP-led Delhi government.
Condemning the “sorry state of affairs” in MCDs, the House on Tuesday gave its approval to set up a fact-finding committee to look into the “extremely poor financial management in the Municipal Corporations of Delhi, particularly in the East and the North Delhi Municipal Corporations”. The committee will be set up under the chairmanship of the director of local bodies and will table its report in the House in the next session.
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The resolution, moved by Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, stated that the MCDs have failed to pay salaries of employees despite having received enhanced funds from the Delhi government, and that residents of the capital have a right to know how the MCDs are utilising these funds. Bhardwaj alleged that while the civic bodies claim not to receive funds from the government, they refuse to have their books audited.
“We demand transparency from the MCDs. They are creating a perception that the government is not helping them and politicising the matter,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who seconded the “sense-of-the-House” resolution, stated that post the MCD elections in April, the AAP will “run corporations in just as much money as they get and show them (the BJP) how to do so”. He also said safai karamcharis, doctors and teachers of the MCD do not belong to any party and “they are our responsibility and we will take care of them”.
The House resolution also urged MCDs to take urgent measures to improve their financial health and ensure that residents of Delhi get basic facilities that they are entitled to as taxpayers. The civic bodies were told to inform the house of steps being taken to ensure this.
Meanwhile, the opposition stated that the AAP government should fill the revenue gap in the corporations and implement the recommendations of the fourth finance commission, which give the corporation a bigger share of the state’s collection of taxes.