New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) The AAP-led Delhi government has directed the BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation to suspend its proposal to increase the councillor development fund from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore in view of the pandemic-hit economy and the civic body's financial woes, officials said on Thursday.
In a letter dated January 27, the Urban Development Department asked the NDMC commissioner to 'suspend the councillor development fund altogether' for the time being as in the case of the MP development fund and the Delhi MLA development fund.
'At a time when the MP and MLA development funds have been suspended due to unprecedented economic crisis 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 a 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 are 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.
North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash said the government can offer suggestions but not impose its will on the civic body.
'Now the Delhi government has also entered into the field to square off with the civic body,' Prakash was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.
'The Delhi government can offer suggestions but not impose its will on the civic body. I appeal to the government to withdraw its directions,' he said.
Earlier in the day, AAP's in-charge of municipal corporations Durgesh Pathak had slammed the proposal to increase the councillor development fund.
'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 long time demanding their pending salaries. On the other hand, they proposed in their budget to increase councillor development fund from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
'I am thankful to the Delhi government and the CM for issuing a direction to the NDMC to suspend the increase,' he said. PTI KND DIV DIV