Delhi Government today denied any financial aid to the cash-strapped civic agencies and asked them to seek the Centre’s help.
A delegation of three mayors of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led municipal corporations in the national capital met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Secretariat seeking funds as the civic agencies are facing acute financial crunch.
“The North Corporation is under a loan of Rs 1,400 crore so we demanded Rs 302 which is part of our global share for the year 2014-15 from the Delhi Government. They denied it and claimed that they have adjusted the money in our loan,” North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Yogender Chandolia said.
The delegation claimed that the financial situation of three civic agencies has deteriorated after the trifurcation.
“We requested Delhi Government to give Rs 302 crore so that we can pay salaries and meet other expenses. At present, 70 per cent of educational expenses are paid by Delhi Government, but to pay pension to retired teaching staff we requested them to increase this share to 90 per cent,” Chandolia said.
The Mayors claimed that efforts are being made to generate money but to make the civic agencies run they need financial assistance.
According to a senior government official, the Chief Minister expressed his willingness to help but the Delhi government too is reeling under financial crisis, so it is unable to help them.
Kejriwal told the mayors to do municipal reforms to generate more money to overcome the financial crisis. “The Delhi Government’s financial situation is not good as there was a deficit of Rs 4,000 crore in revenue target during the last one year, the period when the city was being run by BJP-led Union Government,” Kejriwal in a press statement said.
The CM suggested the delegation to approach the BJP government at the Centre for funds. “If the central government grants the funds to us it will be transferred to municipal bodies within hours,” Kejriwal said.
According the senior government official, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will soon meet Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to seek funds. The municipal corporations too are planning to seek appointment of Jaitley.
South Delhi Mayor Khushi Ram Chunar said the Delhi government should release an amount of Rs 3,150 crore to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) for regularisation of 10,500 Group ‘D’ employees.
He said that these employees are posted in different categories like ‘safai karmacharies’, ‘malis’, ‘chowkidar’ and ‘malaria beldar’, among others.
All these are posted as daily wagers or on contract for more than 10 years.
The south Delhi Mayor also claimed that under various schemes timely grants have not released by the Delhi government to the corporations.
“After implementation of the ‘Unit Area Method’ in 2004, the then (Delhi) government had assured us to compensate the losses due to its implementation but it has been pending since 2005-06,” he said, and asked the government to release all grants under various heads with “immediate effect”.
He said that till 2007-08 Delhi government was giving 5.5 per cent to the municipal corporations under the ‘Global Share of Taxes’. It was reduced to 4 per cent, and 1.5 per cent is kept under the Municipal Reform Fund (MRF).
“In 2012-13, under MRF Rs 60 crore was released against demand of Rs 135 crore and since 2013-14 no MRF has been released to the corporation. We demand an immediate release of the MRF to the corporation,” he said in an SDMC statement.
He claimed that corporations are carrying out works in authorised colonies, unauthorised colonies and rural village areas but no fund is being released to us under these schemes as grants.
He said that under plan schemes multi-level parkings, roads, schools, community centre and RUB, bridges are being done but the government is “not releasing” fund in timely manner leading to delay in projects.
“The government should release the pending amount of Rs 1,200 crore in different head categories immediately and also Rs 3,150 crore in addition to it for regularisation of Group ‘D’ employees of the corporations,” he said.