New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) The AAP-led Delhi government has directed the BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation to suspend its proposal to hike the councillor development fund from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore in view of the coronavirus-hit economy and the civic body's financially strained situation, officials said on Thursday.
In a letter dated January 27, the Urban Development department of the Delhi government has asked the North Delhi Municipal Commissioner to 'suspend the councillor development fund altogether', for the time being, as in the case of MP development fund and Delhi MLA development fund.
'At a time when the MP and MLA development funds have been suspended due to unprecedented economic crises being faced by the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is beyond imagination that such a proposal is being mooted by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation,' the letter said.
Moreover, all three corporations are not making payment of salaries to their staff on time, taking the plea that they are facing financial crunch, it said.
In view of this situation, Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain, has issued directions to the NDMC to 'suspend the said councillor development fund altogether till the economic situation becomes normal'.
'Accordingly, the directions of the UD Minister is hereby conveyed to the NDMC to suspend the councillor development fund rather than enhancing the same from existing Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore,' the letter added.
There was no immediate reaction from the NDMC or the North Delhi mayor.
Earlier in the day, AAP's in-charge of municipal corporations, Durgesh Pathak, in a press conference held at the party's headquarters, hit out at the BJP-ruled civic bodies and slammed the proposal brought in by the cash-strapped NDMC.
'On one hand, they (NDMC) claim they are unable to pay salaries of their employees for several months, even as employees are protesting for such a along time demanding their due salaries. And, on the other hand, they proposed in their budget to hike councillor development fund from current Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore. I am thankful to the Delhi government and the CM for issuing direction to the NDMC to suspend the hike,' he said. PTI KND TDS TDS