The city might be splurging on the upcoming Commonwealth Games but its coffers are empty when it comes to paying its employees.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has no money to pay salaries.
For June, the civic agency has said it will be able to release only 20 per cent of Rs 252 crore that it spends every month on paying salary to its employees.
Not only this, the civic agency is clueless whether it will be able to provide salaries in the coming few months. There are roughly 1.2 lakh MCD employees.
“We have released 20 per cent of Rs 252 crore as of now. We don’t have any more funds to provide salary to all the employees. As and when funds are available, we will be releasing the salary. But the situation is quite grim right now,” said a senior MCD official, wishing to remain anonymous.
“A lot of money is being used on support projects related to the Games. For all the projects that are directly linked to the Games, we are getting funds from the Delhi and Central government but there are a number of projects which we are executing, using our own money that are not directly linked to the Games,” added the official.
The civic agency has mainly one source of revenue — money collected through property tax — which the officials claimed has been going down every year.
The legislative wing of the civic agency said it had taken up this matter with the Delhi government but to no avail.
“We had asked Delhi government to release Rs 1,000 crore to take care of all this but they didn’t,” said Subhash Arya, leader of the MCD House.
Delhi’s finance minister Ashok Kumar Walia said the MCD’s request “came very late”.
“They should have sent us the request for money in April but we received it only on May 15. The money would be transferred to the MCD in a day or so,” Walia said.
“If they required funds, they should have written to us and we would have certainly released some money,” the minister added.