The North Delhi Municipal Corporation needs as much as Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore from the state government to sustain itself, Commissioner P K Gupta told The Indian Express Thursday. The corporation will require the additional amount to avert a crisis of civic services like the repeated instances over the last two years of safaikaramcharis spilling garbage on to streets owing to a delay in the disbursement of their salaries.
The corporation has a salary bill of Rs 3,000 crore and total expenses to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore. The devolution of funds it receives from the state is to the tune of Rs 1,100 crore, exclusive of planned funds for specific projects. “Our internal revenue is approximately Rs 2,200 crore and we receive about Rs 1,100 crore from the state. We require an additional Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore for proper functioning of the corporation,” Gupta said.
In a House meeting on June 5, responding to a debate on funds for safaikaramcharis, the commissioner had said, “Of the 12.5 per cent grant-in-aid that is due, only about 9 per cent has been released to us.” The corporation has been pushing for the implementation of the Fourth Finance Commi- ssion Report, which gives the corporations a higher share of the state’s taxes. “If we get the funds at 12.5 per cent (of the state’s taxes) as per the recommendations the Commission, then every day functioning will become easier. We have a deficit of Rs 600 crore and liabilities of approximately Rs 4,000 crore,” the commissioner said.
The three MCDs — North South and East — are entitled to 10.5 per cent of the state government’s revenue. Of this 10.5 percent, five per cent is given as grant-in-aid for education (for the MCD schools run all over the city); four per cent is the “global share” of taxes collected by the Delhi government. This is adjusted by the state government on account of previous loans. One and a half per cent of this is something called Municipal Reform Fund and it is subject to governance reform and bringing in more transparency.
“MRF is given only in some years,” Gupta said. The corporation has paid all salaries till April and for May, salaries have been paid only to the D category workers, the safaikaramcharis. The implementation of the report depends on AAP, which had tabled the report in the Assembly in 2015. The party had said they will implement the report when the Centre does.