The North Delhi Municipal Corporation is likely to face an estimated budget deficit of over Rs 2,700 crore in the next financial year due to a variety of factors like implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission, outstanding dues to contractors and safaikaramcharis.
The staggering deficit was revealed in the Revised Budget Proposal for financial year 2016-17, presented by North MCD Commissioner Praveen Gupta to the Standing Committee Tuesday. The budget deficit in 2012-13 was Rs 790 crore and Rs 540 crore in 2013-4.
In the current financial year — when the corporation is struggling with an acute financial shortage and recurring employee strikes — the budget deficit was initially estimated at Rs 700 crore but was later revised to Rs 376 crore. However, the corporation managed to scrape through, with grants and aid from the Delhi government and by diverting funds to pay their employees.
The commissioner said that the government will have to provide a ways and means advance to meet the estimated deficit of 2016-17. “I am sure we can pull the corporation out of this financial crisis but it will take time and more help from the Delhi government,” he said.
For 2016-17, the estimated income from the civic body’s internal sources is approximately Rs 3,200 crore but the total income is estimated to be Rs 6,000 crore, with government help of Rs 2,700 crore.
Gupta said that the North MCD’s actual income in the year 2014-15 was Rs 2,376 crore and the total income (taking borrowings from government into account) was Rs 2,929 crore. The total expenditure for this year was exactly the same, leaving a closing balance of Rs 0, he said.
According to budget estimates for the current financial year 2015-16, the income was initially estimated at Rs 4,781 crore, but was revised to approximately Rs 3,100 crore.
The budget proposals will be taken up for discussion by the standing committee and then by the House, till they are approved for the next financial year.
Many of the North Corporation’s development and welfare schemes have suffered due to a dearth of funds from the state government in the current year, said officials.
Admitting that the financial condition of the corporation remains a matter of concern, Gupta said, “Welfare functions of the corporation will have to be transferred to the state government.”