Updated: January 29, 2021 4:35:47 am
The Delhi government has written to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to suspend its proposal to increase councilllor development funds from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore until the economic situation return to normal.
The letter written by the Department of Urban Development (Directorate of Local Bodies) to the commissioner North MCD said, “At a time when the MP and MLA Development Funds have been suspended due to unprecedented economic crises being faced by the country because of Covid-19 pandemic, it is beyond imagination that such a proposal is being mooted by North MCD. Moreover, all three MCDs are not making payment of salary to staff on time taking the plea that they are facing financial crunch.”
“Accordingly, the directions of Honourable minister, (UD) is hereby conveyed to North DMC to suspend the Councillor Development Fund rather than enhancing the same from the existing Rs 25 lakh to 1.5 crore,” the letter said.
The North MCD hit back saying it is a proposal subject to availability of funds, and the “AAP is doing politics over the issue”.
Leader of the House, North MCD, Yogesh Verma said, “Just like any other budget, in MCD budgets too there is planning. This is subject to availability of funds after clearing salary bills.”
“This is a planned amount, not a sanctioned one. Last year too it was Rs 1 crore, but allocation was only Rs 25 lakh. We cannot compromise with sanitation and nullah cleaning, else it will lead to spread of diseases. The budget has to be allocated everywhere, so that it is distributed if we have money in the future,” he said.
Pending salary and pension bills for the North MCD has reached Rs 800 crore, with all sections of its staff not being paid for 2-6 months. The issue had led to sanitation workers going on strike since January 7, leaving most parts of Delhi covered in garbage.
On this issue, AAP MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak said at a press conference, “Today, the Arvind Kejriwal government directed the BJP-ruled MCD not to increase councillor funds from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1.50 crore. Funds of MPs were curtailed by PM. CM Kejriwal has stalled various projects to provide best healthcare to citizens. Even after that, BJP has the audacity to increase councilor funds.”
To which Verma said, “This is extra-judicial effort by the Delhi government. They have also not released Rs 938 crore which they claimed they had, due to which salaries are stuck.”
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