Will pay salaries of NDMC, EDMC employees for Apr-May:Arvind Kejriwal
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced that his government will release pending salaries of sanitation workers, doctors and teachers of two municipal corporations for April and May, virtually ending the standoff between AAP and BJP over the issue.
While the announcement drew large cheers from the crowd, Kejriwal took the opportunity to lash out at the civic bodies, alleging that the money meant for salaries "disappeared due to corruption" in the BJP-led corporations.
"Sometimes I wonder, how the salaries were not given...it has never happened in the history of MCD. But, a month after our government assumed charge, the matter came up... And, then when people went to Mayors for release of due amount, they sent them to me, -- 'Go ask it from Kejriwal' and I realised some things were being politicised.
"But, despite all that, you have voted us to power and it is time for us to pay you back. And, therefore, after releasing the salary for March, we will now release your (sanitation workers) salaries for April and May. And, we will also release it for doctors and teacher. But, after that, if the matter still persists then go to the BJP-led corporations and Mayors," Kejriwal said.
Both North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) have been cash-strapped, unable to pay salaries of many employees.
A section of the striking sanitation workers have lately been protesting against the AAP dispensation after the corporations held Kejriwal government "responsible" for their financial woes.
"For EDMC, we are giving Rs 293 crore, while last year during President's Rule the money received during April-May through Centre was Rs 178 crore.
"For NDMC, we are giving Rs 575 crore, from Rs 327 crore for the corresponding period last year. But, we are giving you this after a lot of efforts, please don't ask again," he said at an event at Ramlila Maidan here.
The chief minister also announced that for next one year the AAP government has decided to award loans to the corporation, "without setting it off", as the norm usually is.
Kejriwal further training his guns on the BJP-led corporations, claimed, "people were being misled by the party.
They dumped garbage in front of my house and held protest.
But, people never knew, who were responsible for non-payment of the salaries."
Kejriwal also said that he was willing to go along with all the Mayors and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek release of funds.
“He (PM) has given money to Mongolia, I am sure if we all can go and tell our situation he will also help us for one year.”
The chief minister further accused the three BJP-led corporations of being “neck-deep in corruption”.
“All three municipal bodies make Rs 85 crore together annually from advertising revenues, which is about Rs 7 crore per month. It should have been Rs 1000 crore. So, where is the money going, all in the pockets of corporators,” he alleged.
The chief minister further claimed, “I have so many ideas that I want to share with the corporations, but it is not under us.
But, I can tell you, I can turn around the two loss-making civic bodies in a year, if given a chance.” The three civic bodies and the Delhi government have been at loggerheads for months over non-payment of salaries issue.
Mayors of the three corporations had accused the Delhi government of not releasing the global share and municipal reforms funds, attributing it as reason behind the arrears.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also attacked the municipal corporations, and held “corruption” and “diversion of funds” in budgetary allocation as the reason behind non-payment of salaries of NDMC employees.
Kejriwal, for the first time after assuming charge, held an audience with sanitation workers of NDMC and EDMC where senior party leaders and MLAs Gopal Rai, Sandeep Kumar were also present.
Senior BJP party leaders and several councillors of the corporations staged a sit-in at the periphery of the Civic Centre here, wearing black head-bands in protest against the AAP government on the issue.