Diwali cheer: Cash-strapped east Delhi civic body to pay pending salaries, bonus this month
The cash-strapped EDMC has not been able to pay regular salaries to staff, resulting in five strikes over three year. The corporation expects to receive Rs 100 crore from the Delhi government, with which it will clear the dues of nearly 30,000 workers, mayor Neema Bhagat said.delhi Updated: Oct 05, 2017 11:08 IST
To prevent a rerun of sanitation crisis that threatened to cripple parts of Delhi in January this year, the cash-strapped East Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to pay its employees pending salaries and give them a bonus before Diwali.
The civic agency has been running under massive budgetary deficit and has survived on support from the Delhi government and the Centre ever since the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated in 2012. The corporation has not been able to pay regular salary to staff resulting in five strikes by sanitation workers in last three years.
This January, more than 16,000 workers had again threatened to go on an indefinite strike over non-payment of salaries. But it was called off after 11 days as the Delhi government released funds to pay workers.
On Wednesday, EDMC mayor Neema Bhagat said the latest decision will benefit 26,000 workers who have not received salaries for up to two months.
“The group A, B and C employees haven’t been paid salaries since August, while those in group D (including sanitation workers) failed to get September’s salary and bonus. We will try to clear these dues before festival,” said Bhagat. EDMC commissioner Ranbir Singh said the civic agency is expecting to get Rs 100 crore from Delhi government, which will be utilised for paying salaries.
“We have asked the Delhi government to deduct the amount from the quarterly grant issued as per the Third Delhi Finance Commission recommendations. We have already generated some funds through revenue and the additional Rs 100 crore will help us to distribute the salaries and bonus to sanitation workers as per the norms,” said Singh.
When contacted, Delhi government spokesperson Nagender Sharma said he was not aware of the matter yet.
As per the Third Delhi Finance Commission recommendations, the three corporations should receive 10.5 % of amount collected through taxes, duties, tolls from the state government under the non-plan head. The grant in aid is divided in three parts — 5% as education expenditure, 4% for basis assignments and 1.5% for municipal reform funds.The amount is released in three quarters.
Meanwhile, sanitation unions have welcomed the move. “We got the information through officials that the commissioner will meet us day after tomorrow and make an official announcement. We would appreciate if the civic agency also considers payment of pending arrears,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of MCD Swachhata Karmchari Union.