‘Clearance of dues by Delhi Govt only solution to MCD’s financial woes’ 

Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal. File

Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal. File | Photo Credit: PTI

A week after the constitution of the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), employees at the civic body continue to remain an unhappy bunch with no clarity over the possible solution to the growing financial troubles that include pending salaries.

However, a senior official familiar with the development told The Hindu that the “only solution” to curb financial crunch was the payment of pending funds owed by the Delhi Government to the three erstwhile municipal corporations  – North, South and East – that have now merged into a single entity (MCD). 

Recurring delay

Prior to the merger, a key concern raised by employees was the recurring delay in the payment of salaries and pensions, while civic officials in the North and East corporations expressed concerns over the financial liabilities that resulted in the snail-paced development – or close to no progress – of projects.  Earlier this week, the MCD issued pending salaries and pensions of its employees for one month, releasing funds totaling to ₹432.84 crore – that it received from the Delhi Government.

“Asking the Delhi Government for the pending funds, even after the merger, is also an indication that the Centre might not provide a bailout package for the financial crisis. While the government says that they have calculated and paid what was necessary to the civic bodies, we [MCD] are back to the same problem of no clarity on how the financial crisis will be solved,” said another senior official. 

Devolution of funds

According to a document accessed by The Hindu, a regular gap in the devolution of funds to three erstwhile civic bodies was observed from the financial year 2016-17 to 2020-21.

For instance, in the the financial year 2019-2020, the erstwhile East Corporation was to receive a devolution of ₹2,137 crore, as recommended by the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission (DFC). However, the devolution by the Delhi Government to the civic body, stood at ₹1,845.96 crore, which, according to the senior MCD official, added to the worsening financial crisis. 

“The party’s senior State leadership is already in touch with the unified MCD regarding civic issues. Politically, the unification will give the Delhi BJP an opportunity to drop non-performing councillors who have been a part of the MCD over the last 10 years. A new civic leadership will emerge by the time the MCD elections are held,” a senior Delhi BJP leader said.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 7:56:08 am |