Delhi government not releasing funds, EDMC to HC

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) on Monday accused the AAP government before the Delhi High Court for not releasing of amounts due to it – as per the Delhi Finance Commission – which has escalated to Rs.627.93 crore in the last four years.

In an affidavit, the EDMC said salaries of its safai karamcharis are released upto December 2015 but, as of January 2016, Rs.217 crore is needed to make upto date payments of salaries to all categories of employees including pension to retirees.

It sought immediate release of municipal reforms funds which are already provided under the recommendation of 3rd Finance Commission but not being released by the Delhi government for the last three financial years.

EDMC’s counsel Mini Pushkarna said the corporation is facing “huge financial crunch” an d is unable to sustain its financial liabilities and has already written to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung for grant of a Rs. 500 crore bail out package.

On the other hand, the Delhi government vehemently denied that the non-payment of salaries or arrears to employees of civic bodies were due to non-release of funds and instead blamed it on “the massive financial mismanagement” by the corporation.

In its affidavit, the government said the total funds available with the MCDs are over and above the expenditure that has been incurred. It also said that the MCDs are at “liberty” to recover property tax from unauthorized colonies.

“Municipal corporations have been attempting to get their statutory nonfeasance excused or justified by creating a boogey of non-release of funds by the answering respondent,” the state government said, adding 100 percent of the revised estimates of the year 2015-2016 amounting to Rs.892.92 crore, Rs.465.53 crore and Rs.830.41 crores for North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), EDMC and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) respectively, under non-plan heads, has already been released.

The response of EDMC and the Delhi government came on a PIL seeking release of salaries of municipal workers. The employees of thr ee civic corporations have been on strike since January 27, demanding payment of salaries and pending wages.

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