Delhi: Civic bodies plan to disburse welfare pensions before Diwali

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New Delhi, Oct 16: Three municipal corporations in Delhi have stepped up efforts for disbursing pending welfare pensions to around two lakh beneficiaries despite facing financial crunch which they blame on Delhi Government, a charge vehemently denied by the later.

North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), which has to pay to 80,000 beneficiaries under old age, widow and physically-challenged pension schemes, has decided to take loan for the purpose.

New Delhi

The 80,000 eligible beneficiaries under the scheme have not been paid the monthly pension of Rs 1,200 for the past 14 months. The dues have accumulated to Rs 112 crore, a senior official of the NDMC said.

The issue of lack of funds for pension was raised in the Standing Committee meeting yesterday and its chairman Mohan Bhardwaj has directed the NDMC Commissioner to look for avenues to arrange loans for disbursing pensions to all the beneficiaries.

Leader of the House in NDMC Yogender Chandolia claimed that Delhi Government has not given the funds leading to the crisis.

"These allegations have no meaning. Their allegations do not stand judicial scrutiny and have been rejected by the High Court," said a Delhi Government spokesperson. In South Delhi Municipal Corporation, around 73,000 beneficiaries have not been paid the monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for the past 12 months.

The total due amount stands at around Rs 80 crore, an SDMC official said.

"The pension is paid by municipal corporation from its own resources. But, Delhi government has not given us funds under different heads of grants-in-aid and plan," SDMC Standing Committee Chairman Radhe Shyam Sharma said.

"The grant-in-aid of Rs 120 crore in 2014-15 for education has not been paid by the government but we have not stopped work. Likewise, we have spent resources in many other areas although we still have to receive the funds from the government," he claimed.

Sharma said "despite the financial problems, we have decided to pay three months pensions before Diwali." "They come up with frivolous allegations every now and then.

Basically, MCD has collapsed financially as an institution which is looking for lame excuses," said the government spokesperson.

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation has nearly 45,000 pensioners who are paid Rs 1,000 per month. But for the past two years they have not been paid due to lack of funds, Chairperson of EDMC Standing Committee Lata Gupta said.

"Our pension liabilities total around Rs 100 crore. We have dues including municipal reforms fund and global share which Delhi Government has failed to pay us. if these funds are given to us we can easily pay the pensions and undertake other development works," she said.

As a mark of protest over non-release of funds by Delhi Government, the EDMC Standing Committee Chairperson and some other Councillors have returned their meeting allowances.

PTI

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