The Delhi High Court told the AAP government on Monday that depletion of its revenue cannot be an answer to lack of funds with municipal corporations to pay salaries of its staff. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said a solution has to be found, and listed the matter for hearing on August 10.
It asked Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra to come with instructions on the next date. Mehra, during the hearing via video conferencing, told the court that government's revenues are depleting, but it will do the needful.
"That (revenue depletion) cannot be an answer. Solution has to be found. Figure it out and give us a solution," the bench said. The observations came while hearing an application moved by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) which has alleged that Rs 90.60 crore payable as grant-in-aid under the sanitation/urban development head, for the first quarter ending June 30, has not been released yet and Rs 181 crore under the same head for the second quarter is also due.
NrDMC, in its application filed through advocate Mini Pushkarna, has said that the funding was meant for payment of salaries of 'safai karamchaaris' and sanitation activities. The application has been filed in a pending writ petition by one Rahul Birla seeking directions to the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to pay the salaries with arrears of sanitation workers employed by them.
In its application, NrDMC has said that expenditure towards the salary till May 2020, sanitation services and providing PPE kits, gloves, masks, sanitizers to the workers has been incurred by the corporation from its own internal resources, in the absence of any amount being released by the Delhi government. It has claimed that the Delhi government has not been releasing grant-in-aid payments timely under the category of Health and it released an amount of Rs 27.66 crore under Health plan only on July 9.
It has further claimed that "the current liabilities of North DMC as on July 1 are Rs 4,757.18 crore, which includes unpaid salaries, pensions, terminal benefits, arrears. "Besides, there are monthly liabilities towards salary of employees amounting to Rs 343 crore per month, with annual liability towards salary component alone being Rs 4,116 crore.