Anguished by the delay in getting salaries, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation employees on Thursday threatened to go on strike in 72 hours.
They attribute the delay is the payment of wages to the inadequate release of value-added tax (VAT) to the MC. "Against the scheduled payment of `11 crore a month, the government has released only `5 crore in October. The shortfall is `6 crore," said an official. Municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal accepted the reason.
"Salaries take away a major chunk of the MC earnings that include VAT instalments and tax recoveries. Besides, there are massive electricity bills and other charges to foot, which will be difficult given the shortage of funds," said Sabharwal.
The MC has requested local bodies minister Anil Joshi to help. "The salaries will be disbursed as soon as we have made arrangements for requisite funds," said the municipal commissioner.