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Understanding why Delhi MCD’s doctors are not being paid

Why SDMC and EDMC have paid their employees but NDMC hasn’t?

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation which employs around 50,000 thousand people including 5,000 health workers, 17,000 Safai Karamcharis, 8,000 teachers and subordinate with higher officials, has not paid its doctors and teachers for 2 to 4 months. South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation have either paid their employees or delayed salaries of just one month. Officials said that the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason for fund crisis in NDMC. Let’s understand why North Delhi Municipal Corporation has not paid off their employee’s salaries while SDMC and EDMC have paid.

MCD was trifurcated into NDMC, SDMC, EDMC in 2012 to decentralize the MCD

Delhi’s Municipal Corporation was trifurcated in 2012 to decentralize the large local body. North Delhi and South Delhi were given 104 wards each while East Delhi got 64 wards. South Delhi ended up getting most posh colonies which paid higher property taxes. The North body, on the other hand, got more ‘lower taxation’ and unauthorized category colonies which either didn’t pay any taxes or paid fewer taxes.

The trifurcation created a structure in which SDMC earns 30 per cent of its internal revenue from property taxes while NDMC and EDMC earn 15 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. The North MCD has 3,35,000 taxpayers among 10 lakh owners, the east body has 2,28,000 taxpayers among 4 lakh property owners and the south body has the highest 4,75,000 taxpayers amongst its 11 lakh property owners.

Also, the advertising revenue is more utilized by the SDMC who has brought private companies into confidence. They took major decisions like taking action against illegal hoardings, carried out a structural safety audit of unipoles for advertisements. All these actions raised the revenue to about Rs 130 crore in the last three years. In the year 2018-19, it reached Rs 150 crore, one of the highest in the country. The North Body which has the same number of wards earned mere Rs 40 crore.

Read more: How COVID-19 hospital in Delhi was prepared in just 12 days

NDMC liabilities

NDMC employs 1500 nursing officers, 1,000 senior doctors and 500 resident doctors across five medical facilities in its area. In comparison, SDMC and EDMC have one hospital each, which are smaller in size with beds facility for 100 and 370 people respectively.

The biggest hospital under NDMC, Hindu Rao has 900 beds along with 4 other hospitals, total accounting for 5,000 staff. The salaries of the employees are around Rs 600 crore. There are maintenance costs and also medicine costs worth Rs 40 crore. NDMC also runs 63 maternity and child welfare centres, 21 dispensaries, 7 maternity homes and 17 polyclinics.

A proposal was thought in 2018 that these hospitals should be transferred to the central government, but it never happened. NDMC spends lots of money into carrying anti-mosquito operations as it has a larger area than the other two corporations. Currently, NDMC is struggling with a deficit of more than 1,300 crores.

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