New Delhi: The deadlock between Delhi government and the three municipal corporations of the capital has threatened a financial crisis.
This financial crisis may result in disruption of civic services. These disturbances may cause real trouble for common people as garbage disposal is being severely hit and municipal workers going unpaid.
The North and East corporations are particularly badly hit and haven't been able to pay their staff for over two months now and officials fear workers may go on strike.
East Corporation needs Rs 600 crore of grants to clear its debt and stabilize its finances. North Corporation, despite receiving loans still faces a yawning gap in its finances, according to reports published in TOI.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has refused to give grants or even loans to the municipal corporations which prompt the three mayors of Delhi to write to the Union finance ministry seeking urgent help.
With the Delhi government itself facing a shortfall in its budget for the first time in recent memory, the stand-off is only likely to intensify.
Delhi gives 9% of its share in tax collections as non-plan budget to the corporations as set out by the Delhi Finance Commission. Last year, this amounted to Rs 2,979 crore for payment of salaries and other such expenditure. Sources in the Delhi government's finance department said this money has been released and emphasized that it is rightfully due to the corporations.
The Kejriwal government since taking charge in Delhi has expressed concern about the financial health of the corporations. In his first review of the corporations, Kejriwal asked the municipal commissioners to come up with a plan to make the corporations viable.
Last week, he again held a detailed review. The Delhi government feels that the corporations are not functioning properly and there is no proper planning to enhance income through greater enforcement of property tax collection.
The Delhi government at present is itself trying to bolster is financial health as the new government is grappling with a shortfall of over Rs 4,000 crore from set revenue targets in the current fiscal.