MCDs to get Rs 500 cr from govt

Sanitation workers may return to work today

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday exhorted striking sanitation workers to protest outside the Prime Minister if their salaries are not paid in time, even while releasing funds to clear current arrears.

As garbage piled on Delhi streets due to the ongoing strike by sanitation workers of North and East municipal corporations of Delhi over non-payment of salaries, Kejriwal promised to release Rs 500 crore for clearing arrears up to May. This is likely to ensure the their return to work on Tuesday.

The release of funds was announced at a public meeting at Ramlila Maidan, projected a  dialogue with MCD workers.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader said his  government will ensure that the Bharatiya Janata Party-run muncipal corporations don't face a financial crunch for the coming year.   
He accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of "sucking the average Delhiite dry”. The safai karamcharis have been on strike since last week.

“First, we paid arrears till March, and now we are paying arrears till May. We have no more left,” Kejriwal said.

He said the Delhi government had earlier also released funds for salaries.
“They (mayors of the municipal corporations) had then told us to give money till March. They assured they will pay salaries for April and May after making money from house tax. But I don’t know what went wrong?” the CM said.  

His deputy Manish Sisodia produced a copy of the North MCD budget and claimed that there was diversion of funds from the non-plan expenditure head.
“They diverted funds meant for your salaries to construct swimming pools and vaccinate stray dogs,” he said. 

“Where did you money go? Ask Delhi BJP leaders on standing committee,” the Deputy CM said.

Saying that the Delhi government has no control in functioning of the MCD, Arvind Kejriwal urged the sanitation workers to protest outside the PM’s residence if their salaries aren’t paid on time.

“We will go along with BJP, Congress, MCD leaders to meet PM. We meet him under the leadership of the three MCD mayors,” he said.

“We pay over Rs 1.31 lakh crore to Centre every year, but in return we get nothing,” he said.
The AAP government has being claiming that Delhi’s share in central taxes has remained stagnant for a long time now.

Kejriwal said he will meet the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss issues related to funding of the MCDs.

All three municipal corporations are at loggerheads with the AAP government over release of funds, including for sanitation work.

Even other employees such as teachers and doctors who are on payrolls of civic bodies have also been protesting now and then, as they too have not received their salaries on time.

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