Delhi govt will provide Rs 938 crore to civic bodies to pay up salaries of employees: Sisodia

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) The Delhi government will provide Rs 938 crore to three municipal corporations to pay up pending salaries of their employees, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Thursday and alleged that the BJP-led civic bodies have become 'bankrupt' due to corruption by their leaders.

At a press conference, Sisodia claimed that the Delhi government does not have any obligation to provide funds to the civic bodies but it decided to do so after 'seeing the suffering of MCD employees'.

'Despite its own financial constraints, the Delhi government is reducing outlays to its own departments and giving Rs 938 crore to pay up the salaries of MCD employees,' he said and appealed to civic employees to keep a tab on the money to prevent it from being 'embezzled by the BJP'.

Several employees of North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation -- which together formed the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) -- went on an indefinite strike last week against non-payment of salaries and pensions.

The strike was called under the aegis of the Confederation of MCD Employees Union -- an umbrella body of civic employees' unions.

Sisodia of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said it is a matter of concern for the Delhi government to see that the employees, who are also residents of the national capital, are not getting their salaries.

'It is not fault of the employees. If they've worked, they should be getting their salaries. Therefore, a decision was taken for funds to be arranged from wherever possible. Even the Delhi government is short of funds...only half of the tax money is coming in. We've had to stop many schemes.... However, Rs 938 crore is being given for the salaries of the employees despite the Delhi government having no such liability,' he said, adding that the situation was further accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown.

Sisodia said the BJP came to power in the civic bodies 14 years ago and has 'completely bankrupted' them.

'Now, only Rs 12 crore is left in the bank accounts of North MCD while East MCD has only Rs 99 lakh in its accounts. MCD owes the Delhi government a sum of Rs 6,276 crore. The BJP bankrupted the MCD to such an extent that they don't even have the money to pay their own employees. Not just cleanliness, the MCD is no longer suitable for even building work. From sanitary workers, teachers to medical staff, none of them has been paid their salaries,' he claimed.

Sisodia alleged that such a corrupt municipal corporation cannot be found anywhere in the world.

'BJP leaders themselves believe that there is a lot of corruption going on in the MCD. This is the reason why all other municipal bodies of the country are given financial assistance by the central government, but the MCD does not get any amount from the central government,' he said.

Sisodia said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written to the central government several times requesting it to give funds to the MCD.

He said that BJP leaders had promised in the run-up to the 2017 civic elections that they would bring in the money to the MCD directly from the central government, but failed to do so. 'We know that the BJP leaders of the municipal corporations are completely corrupt as they will eat and steal whatever money they get,' he alleged. PTI GJS SMN