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The liabilities of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) is more than its total budget, commissioner Sanjay Goel said while presenting the budget proposal. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Livemint's sister organisation, the civic body has been facing a serious financial crisis ever since the MCD was trifurcated in 2012.

According to Goel, the liabilities of the corporation have gone over 8,800 crore, compared to 7,524 crore. As a result, the expenditure proposals in the 2022-23 budget have gone down to 5,808 crore -- a 20.6% reduction compared to the 7,321 crore budget proposed for the ongoing financial year 2021-22.

The NDMC Commissioner stated that they were unable to pay salaries to its employees and have been facing court cases due to non-payment to contractors. He said the negative outlook has worsened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that the civic body had no option but to cut down expenses and increase the source of revenue.

In Delhi, three civic bodies (EDMC, SDMC, and NDMC) administer almost equal areas and offer the same range of facilities. However, after the trifurcation in 2012, all three civic bodies have witnessed a financial crunch. They are facing a struggle to implement new projects and pay salaries to their staff leading to strikes.

At present, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled the three civic bodies in the national capital. It has been ruling since 2015 and has faced severe criticism from the opposition for mismanagement and corruption in the municipal bodies.

The NDMC commissioner said that for the next financial year, allocations have been cut across all heads. According to the daily, the sanitation department has received 299 crore less than last year. The budget allocation for general administration has gone down by 531 crore compared to the previous year.

In this budget proposal, the MCD has refrained from proposing any increase in property tax despite the financial crisis.

Goel has urged the standing committee to consider a 2% increase in property tax and a "reduction in the rebate for paying tax early from the current 15% to 10%. However, the civic body said it will expand the existing schemes such as dog park and parking projects on public-private-partnership.

 

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