MCD to get ₹365 crore; ‘not enough’ for salaries

The MCD headquarters in the Capital.

The MCD headquarters in the Capital. | Photo Credit: File photo

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is set to receive ₹365.75 crore in funds from the Delhi government for its primary and physical education schemes for the first quarter of the financial year 2022-23, according to a document dated June 14.

According to a senior MCD official, the fund allocation — which includes ₹320 crore for salaries — will get exhausted in paying only a month’s emoluments to the teachers serving at the civic body’s schools. 

Prior to the merger of the three erstwhile civic bodies, employees under the North and East corporations remained unpaid for two and five months respectively, while employees serving under the South corporation received timely payments.

Financial crunch

With the merger bringing all employees under one civic body, the delay in payment of salaries may become a common phenomenon for all employees as the MCD struggles to crawl out of its financial crunch, which according to senior officials, has worsened. 

Apart from the fund allocation for education purposes, the Delhi government has also sanctioned money to the MCD for health purposes, which includes salaries to doctors and domestic breeding checkers (DBC), as part of the first installment. 

According to the documents, the erstwhile North corporation will get ₹27.66 crore, while the South and East corporations will get ₹14.04 crore and ₹16.20 crore, respectively. 

However, the senior MCD official said the amount earmarked for salaries of doctors — North (₹5.55 crore), South (₹2.23 crore) and East (₹6.4 crore) —  serving at the civic body-run hospitals will be insufficient even for a month, unless the civic body tries to fill the gap with its internal revenues. 

“The amount allocated for salaries of DBC workers is sufficient for a month’s pay, but this is being paid out of what the Delhi government is giving to the civic body. The larger problem of addressing the core issue, which is the shortage of funds and clearing liabilities, remains unanswered,” said the official.

Doctors’ woes

Maruti Sinha, general secretary, Municipal Corporation Doctor’s Association (MCDA) , said the doctors under the North and East corporations have remained unpaid for two and five months respectively; most of them continue to wait and watch whether the merger will bring about a solution to the recurring delay in payments and arrears. 

Hospitals falling under the civic body include Hindu Rao, Kasturba Hospital and Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital among others. 

In November last year, resident doctors at Hindu Rao Hospital went on an indefinite strike over non-payment of salaries, while in February this year, doctors at Swami Dayanand Hospital launched a similar strike. 

While frequent strikes over non-payment of salaries had become a recurring development prior to the merger, senior officials now worry that larger strikes might take place in the near future.  

“Earlier, when employees from a specific civic body would go on a strike, the impact was limited in one sense. But now it is a unified civic body and no longer do the salary delays apply to one corporation. If the employees go on strike now, it will be in large numbers because everybody will face delay in payments,” said the MCD official. 

When asked about whether the salaries of doctors will be paid from the latest fund allocation from the government, another MCD official said the civic body will have to look into whether there is any room to include their internal revenues to help pay the amount in total.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 9:13:21 pm |