Vinai Kumar Saxena, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, wrote to Arvind Kejriwal, the Prime Minister, requesting the release of 383.74 crore allegedly owed to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). Saxena added that these funds were “inappropriately withheld” over a two-year period, between 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
The Sept. 6 notice requested that “383.74 crore be made accessible to the MCD for the benefit of the residents of Delhi as soon as possible.”
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The Delhi government led by the Aam Aadmi party and the Bharatiya Janata party-led MCDs have been in conflict over the alleged lack of cash allocated to the three companies (the bodies were merged earlier this year), and Saxena is now in the debate for the first time with his letter. Calls and texts requesting comment on the situation were not answered by the Delhi government.
Saxena stated in his letter that the money is mainly needed for the maintenance and construction of infrastructure connected to schools, hospitals, pharmacies, roads, footpaths, etc. that affect the daily life of the residents of Delhi.
Needless to say, the above budget estimates were voted and approved by the Delhi Legislative Assembly and it was the task of the Urban Development Department to release the funds to MCD in a timely manner. It was not done despite several requests and due to failure to release funds will negatively affect the delivery of various public services by MCD and cause inconvenience to the citizens of Delhi,” LG said.
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The BJP has previously alleged that the AAP government withheld more than Rs13,000 crore from Delhi’s companies in accordance with the recommendations of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Delhi Finance Commissions. All three mayors, standing committee chairs and other key civic leaders protested outside the prime minister’s mansion in December 2020 to demand the release of funding. The AAP administration has insisted that there is no outstanding dues.