THE DELHI government has sanctioned around Rs 213 crore to the three MCDs, senior Delhi government officials said. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, said the claim that the government owes Rs 13,000 crore to civic bodies was completely false and that it was “shameful” the corporations were not being able to pay their doctors.
“It is a matter of shame that doctors who put their lives on the line in dealing with Covid-19 patients are not being paid. For the past few years, MCDs have been having problems paying salaries to its employees. Whatever the Delhi government owed legally to the MCDs, we have given,” he said.
Officials said till Monday, the Delhi government had disbursed over Rs 1,700 crore to the corporation. “Up to Monday, the Delhi government has paid Rs 1,752.61 crore to the MCDs, and the total that is due to them — as per the 5th Finance Commission which designates 12.5% of the share of Delhi government’s revenue for MCDs — is Rs 1,965.91 crore. Remaining amount has been sanctioned and is in the process of being disbursed,” said the official.
The official added that disbursal was higher last year as the government tax collection was also higher: “We cannot give the same amount as last year as during the pandemic, even the Delhi government’s tax collections dropped. Last year, the same sum was over Rs 4,000 crore. Revenue collection is slowly picking up now.”
The Delhi BJP, however, said the government was suppressing municipalities by withholding funds. State BJP president Adesh Gupta and the three MCD mayors said at a press conference Tuesday that if the government does not release funds, they will be forced to protest again. The mayors had held a dharna outside Kejriwal’s house on Monday, after which they met Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
A statement issued by the BJP said the EDMC was “sanctioned Rs 1,677 crore, of which only Rs 301 crore has been paid; and the SDMC is due Rs 1,157 crore, of which only Rs 303 crore has been paid.”
The CM also said while Delhi government’s revenue had been hit as well, they had managed to pay salaries to employees: “I found out – the MCDs have Rs 12,000 crore budget, of which around Rs 6,000 crore goes for salaries. At least they can give the salaries – where has this money gone… Even though our tax collection fell during Covid, we managed to pay salaries. The MCDs are busy mismanaging their finances.”
Officials also pointed out that the CM had written to the Prime Minister in 2016, asking Delhi be given Rs 488 per person to municipalities. As per present rules, Delhi and union territories are not given this amount. In the letter, the CM had said the NCT of Delhi and union territories are exempt from this grant, which is “completely unfair”, arguing that “municipalities in Delhi perform the same functions as municipalities in other states, and taxation and other fiscal powers of the government of NCT of Delhi are also similar to other states”.
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