AAP-Led Civic Body Seeks To Divert Rs 1,500 Crore To Mayor’s Fund, BJP Opposes

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AAP-Led Civic Body Seeks To Divert Rs 1,500 Crore To Mayor's Fund, BJP Opposes

BJP councillors entered the well of the House, leading to two adjournments.

New Delhi:

The AAP-led MCD on Tuesday proposed to increase the financial powers of Mayor Shelly Oberoi with the diversion of Rs 1,500 crore from the 2023-24 budgetary allocation to her discretionary fund, a move that was strongly opposed by opposition BJP councillors.

The cut motion proposing amendments in the revised budget estimates for 2023-24 was moved in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House by Leader of the House Mukesh Goel.

Protesting the motion, BJP councillors entered the Well of the House, leading to two adjournments.

The proposal, if approved by the commissioner, will increase the financial powers of the mayor, vesting upon her the right to use the funds at her discretion, BJP members alleged.

The cut motion paves the way to divert funds amounting to around Rs 1,500 crore from the 2023-24 budgetary allocation reserved for different works, Leader of the Opposition in the House, Raja Iqbal, said.

The transfer of the amount will be done to the discretionary funds allocated to the mayor to undertake urgent works, he claimed.

“The AAP is attempting to run the city in an unconstitutional manner. The mayor is unlawfully being given powers on more than Rs 1,500 crore. By bringing the cut motion, AAP’s focus is on stripping employees’ salary funds and the rights of all committees (in the MCD),” Mr Iqbal said in a statement.

The cut motion is a power given to a member of the House to propose amendments, alteration or deletion in budgetary allocations.

Leader of House Goel presented the cut motion to slash the unused funds allocated for various zonal committees and works, and transfer the control of the funds to the mayor.

BJP councillors objected to the proposed amendments, saying that it will dilute the powers of committees and lead to the mayor having sole control on matters related to disbursement of these funds.

According to the cut motion document, unutilised funds including budget for rural wards (Rs 1.5 crore), rural roads (Rs 21 crore), unauthorised colonies (Rs 2 crore), committees — on education, parks, engineering, health, dams and rural — (Rs 2.5 crore), park and landscaping (Rs 15 crore), urban development (Rs 26 crore), road maintenance (Rs 6 crore), new engineering works (Rs 22.5 crore rupees), unauthorised regularised colonies (Rs 46 crore), urbanised villages (Rs 17.5 crore), Group B employees’ salaries (Rs 226 crore), is proposed to be diverted to the mayor’s discretionary funds.

The mayor is granted a discretionary fund of around Rs 8 crore to undertake urgent works as deemed fit by him or her, according to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

The civic body has also reduced the strength of officials in the corporation by slashing funds allocated to different departments, including property tax department by Rs 102 crore, education department by Rs 52 crore and committees in central and zonal offices by Rs 123 crore.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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