Implementation Of 4th DFC’s Recommendations Can Help EDMC, N Corpn Tide Over Crisis
New Delhi: After Delhi high court directed the state government to apportion taxes as per the recommendations of the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission, cash strapped North Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation are looking forward to a financial revival. The east corporation expects to get around Rs 9,000 crore in arrears, while its north counterpart is eyeing Rs 1,616 crore.
The cash crunch in the two civic bodies has caused employee unrest, with staffers often resorting to strikes to have their salaries paid. The liabilities of the two corporations have crossed Rs 4,000 crore. The finance commission has recommended increasing the share of the civic bodies in state taxes, duties, fees and toll income from the existing 10% to 12.5%. Of the 12.5%, 1.5% is earmarked as Municipal Reform Fund and is payable only if the corporations meet certain norms.
The Fourth Finance Commission was to have been implemented in 2012-13 by Delhi government, with the fifth panel to be constituted by 201718. However, after coming to power in 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party government made the increased payout conditional to the Union government increasing Delhi’s share of central taxes.
Following the high court directions, Vijender Gupta, leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to immediately release funds as per the fourth commission’s recommendations and to table the report of the fifth panel in the legislative body for approval. “If Delhi government fails to do this immediately, we will knock on the high court’s door for justice,” said Gupta. “It is sad that the government hasn’t shown even an iota of interest in processing the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission report. On March 23, BJP moved a resolution on releasing funds to the civic bodies as per the fourth panel and on tabling the fifth commission’s report, but the government voted out the resolution.”
As many as 35,000 employ- ees in the north corporation and over 18,000 in the east corporation, including teachers, doctors, technical staff and retired personnel, haven’t been paid their dues for several months. Additionally, over 20,000 retired employees haven’t received their pensions, arrears and other benefits. North corporation alone requires Rs 1,800 crore annually to clear its salary bills and has liabilities of over Rs 2,421 crore. To pay salaries, it has had to divert funds from various heads causing many development projects to stall.
Tilak Raj Kataria, chairman, standing committee, north corporation, hoped the Kejriwal government would honour the court decision and release funds soon. “It will improve the financial condition of the corporation substantially,” Kataria said.
EDMC mayor Neema Bhagat too said, “I expect the Rs 9,125 crore due to us to be released in the right spirit. If we get these funds, we can restart dormant projects, pay the contractors and meet other liabilities.” She hoped too that the fifth finance panel report would be processed, assuring EDMC of an increased share of funds. Bhagat, however, apprehended that the state government would not easily agree to releasing more funds.
Pointing out the imbalance in the Kejriwal government ordering the regularisation of contractual sanitation workers but not specifying the source of funds to pay their enhanced salaries, SDMC mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat said, “The city government has not made it clear when it will release the funds and how much it will release to meet the additional burden of changing the status of the workers. We will need an extra Rs 145 crore annual on this account.”
Railway underbridge and overbridge in Sultanpuri
Multilevel parking facilities at Rani Bagh, Pitampura, Karol Bagh and Sant Nagar Redevelopment of Kamla Market, Naini Lake salary Multilevel parking facilities at Krishna Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Preet Vihar, Nand Nagri, Geeta Colony Redevelopment of Shahdara lake Amusement park in Tahirpur Upgrade of healthcare in hospitals
East corporation to get as arrears and north corporation
employees of north and 18,000 of east corporation (include doctors, teachers and technical staff)
includes salary arrears of employees, payments to contractors and loans bill, approx)