The Delhi Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution directing the AAP government to constitute a fact-finding committee to probe the financial condition of cash-strapped East and North MCDs.
The development comes in the backdrop of the recent strike by the municipal staff of the east MCD over non-payment of salaries and the political slugfest over the issue. While the Delhi government accused the BJP-led municipal corporations of becoming the “den of corruption”, the political leadership in the BJP ruled civic bodies alleged that the AAP government deliberately stalled disbursal of ‘due’ funds.
The committee will be headed by director of local bodies, Delhi government. It will submit its report before the beginning of the Budget Session, which is expected to be held in the first week of March.
The resolution, moved by AAP MLA Sourabh Bhardwaj, stated that MCDs have “failed” to pay the salaries of their employees despite having received enhanced funds from government and the residents have a right to know how the MCDs are utilizing these funds.
“This House directs the Delhi government to take all possible steps to look into the finances of the MCDs in accordance with the provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957.
“This House also directs the government of Delhi to direct the municipal corporations to inform the steps that are being taken to improve their financial condition,” it also stated.
Participating in the discussion over the recent strike by sanitation workers, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said all BJP-led civic bodies have ‘failed’ financially and the BJP leaders have been ‘conspiring’ and ‘instigating’ their employees against the AAP government ahead of the municipal polls.
Repeating the government’s charge, the Deputy CM said that despite the government giving enhanced funds in comparison to previous government, the BJP-led municipal corporations demand funds and have failed to even pay salary to its employees.
“Once we (Aam Aadmi Party) come to power in all three civic bodies, we will show how the MCD function properly with the same money,” Sisodia said.
Moving the resolution, AAP MLA Sourabh Bhardwaj said the House should take serious note of the extremely “poor financial management” in the Municipal Corporations of Delhi, particularly in the EDMC and the NDMC.
“They (BJP leaders of MCD) pass a resolution in their House that municipal officers will not go with MLAs in their constituencies. Such kind of behaviour is unacceptable. On one hand, they adopt such behaviour against MLAs, but on other side, they demand funds from the government,” he said.
The leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta hit back at the government, accusing it of not implementing the recommendations of Fourth Finance Commission. Gupta also termed the short duration discussion on MCD functioning to be politically motivated ahead of the municipal polls.
“Government should understand that EDMC has limited resources. AAP government is just giving political colour to the strike by sanitation workers. The government is deliberately not implementing recommendations of Fourth Finance Commission,” Gupta said.
Assembly panel recommends probe against SDMC commissioner
The questions and references committee of Delhi assembly on Tuesday recommended the Delhi government to “conduct an inquiry into the conduct of Puneet Goyal, Commissioner, SDMC, on charges of indiscipline, dereliction of duty and causing deliberate delay in the execution of public works hurting the public interest”.
The matter pertains to non-implementation of an order of Delhi government’s urban development department increasing financial powers of municipal commissioners in approving the works under MLALAD from Rs25 lakh to Rs5 crore.
The report tabled by the committee will be taken up for discussion in assembly on Wednesday.