Delhi govt says pending payments to BJP-led civic bodies cleared, tells mayors to rise above 'petty politics'
The BJP mayors recently sat on an hours-long dharna outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence demanding the Delhi government clear the due amount of Rs 13000 crore
New Delhi: Amid the tussle between the ruling AAP in Delhi and the BJP helming three municipal corporations over funds, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said all payments due to the civic bodies have been cleared and instead they owe Rs 8600 crore to the city government.
In a letter to the mayors of the BJP-ruled North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations, Sisodia advised them to rise above "petty politics" and focus on the real issues of "corruption and financial mismanagement" in the civic bodies.
The BJP mayors recently sat on an hours-long dharna outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence demanding the Delhi government clear the due amount of Rs 13,000 crore.
BJP leaders also have accused Kejriwal and the ruling AAP of "suppressing" the municipal corporations out of "political malice". Sisodia asked the mayors to demand the Rs 12,000 crore "unpaid" by the Central government, saying it is the right of the people of Delhi.
The CAG audit report and orders from the High Court clearly show that the Delhi government has made all payments to the municipal corporations in the city in a timely manner, Sisodia said. "Rs 1,752 crore has already been disbursed to the three civic bodies this year until 26 October," he said.
Based on the latest records, the municipal corporations have outstanding loans from the Delhi government to the tune of Rs 6,008 crore.
They also have arrears of Rs 2,596 crore to the Delhi Jal Board. Thus, they owe over Rs 8,600 crore to the Delhi government, the deputy chief minister said in the letter.
"I am writing this letter with much anguish and disappointment over your actions as the three mayors of Delhi (NDMC, EDMC, SDMC) with regards to the unpaid salaries of doctors and healthcare workers in MCD hospitals."
"From your actions, it is clear that rather than finding a viable resolution of the matter using all administrative options available to the MCDs, you are only interested in peddling lies and indulging in shameful politics over this issue," Sisodia said.
Giving details of payments made to the MCDs, he said, "Over the past many years, not only has the Delhi government paid them their due share of taxes, but it has paid a large sum over and above as loan."
As on 1 April, a total of Rs 6,008 crore loan is outstanding over the three MCDs. This includes Rs 1977 crore outstanding from EDMC, Rs 3243 crore from NDMC and Rs 788 crore from SDMC, he stated in the letter.
As for the amount owed by the Delhi government to MCDs for the current financial year, as per the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission calculations, a total of Rs 1,965.91 crore is due until October 26, of which Rs 1,752.61 crore has been already paid, stated the letter.
"So, it is clear that no major amount is due from the Government of NCT of Delhi, and any other figure that the mayors of MCDs are demanding from it is fictional and an attempt to divert the attention of the public from the deep financial mismanagement and corruption inside the MCDs."
The fact that no due from Delhi government is outstanding to MCDs has been upheld by the courts too, Sisodia said and claimed that it was the Centre that has not paid the due amount to the civic bodies to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore.
The Central government provides grants to all the municipal corporations in the country at the rate of Rs 488 per person, he said, adding based on Delhi's population, this amounts to a total of Rs 12,000 crore over the last 10 years that should have been granted by the Centre to the MCD.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said earlier this week that 97 percent of Delhiites have received their first dose of vaccine, and 57 percent are fully inoculated
Kejriwal also hit out at Channi, alleging that he has not fulfilled till now any of his promises to people, like that of giving ree electricity or building mohalla clinics
Under the AAP's 'Mission Punjab', Kejriwal will visit various places in the state in the next one month to rally support for the upcoming state election polls