Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced a loan of Rs551 crore for payment of salaries to striking workers of the city’s two municipal corporations, urging them to call off their strike, while demanding a CBI probe into the mismanagement of their funds.Addressing the press from Bangalore, where he is undergoing a naturopathy treatment, the chief minister came down heavily on the BJP-ruled civic bodies of Delhi over crippling of the massive garbage disposal mess in the city for over a week caused by striking sanitation workers of the municipal bodies. They have been joined by teachers, doctors, nurses and contractors of the civic bodies.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are giving Rs551 crore to the north and east municipal corporations as loan for payment of salaries of workers,” Kejriwal said. The loan money was part of Delhi’s education budget, sources said.He also used the opportunity to state that his government — which is completing a year this month — will have to postpone some of their present commitments to next year to arrange the loan money, which has been found ‘with great difficulty’. He tweeted that the Delhi govt is facing Rs 3,000 crore VAT shortfall.dna was the first to report that the AAP government will be setting a revised VAT target of Rs21,000 crore, instead earlier target of Rs24,000 crore, pegged as too high by officials.Workers of Delhi’s three civic bodies — North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation — have been protesting against the non-payment of salaries, directing their ire at both the Delhi and central governments for the last eight days.The North Delhi Municipal Corporation will also be paid Rs.142 crore against the stamp duty bill.”An impression is being created as if Delhi Government is responsible for the financial mess in the MCDs which have been ruled by BJP for the last 10 years. There are huge scams in MCDs. A situation is being created through the strike of the municipal workers to show that there is a crisis in Delhi,” he said.Kejriwal said situation in the MCDs is such that they should be dissolved and fresh elections be held immediately. He said joint front of 19 Unions of MCD Employees have called for dissolving the civic bodies and bringing them under Delhi Government.”If CBI could probe us then why not the MCDs. We had ordered inspection of accounts of the civic bodies but they refused to cooperate,” he said, adding that his government had allocated double the amount of funds to the three civic bodies in the current fiscal compared to the previous year which was allegedly diverted instead of paying the workers’salaries.The situation had turned into a massive political blame game with both the AAP and the BJP blaming each other for the mess.According to sources, the Delhi government was long supposed to pay around Rs600 crore, as municipal reforms fund (MRF) to the local bodies, including the cash-strapped MCDs, as per the third finance commission. The Delhi government had not paid that citing that there were no reforms carried out by the municipal bodies. MCD sources, though, said they had initiated several reforms in the civic bodies.However, revenues for salaries of MCD employees are supposed to be generated by the civic bodies itself through different taxes like the property taxes. “If they (MCDs) had carried out some municipal reforms like increasing the tax base, among others, this situation wouldn’t have arrived,” said an official.
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