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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Civic bodies slam move to audit accounts

The BJP-controlled municipal corporations on Thursday criticised the AAP government's decision to audit the accounts of civic bodies calling it "a political move to deflect attention" from its own failure. 

The Delhi Government recently decided to set up a committee to inspect and scrutinise the records of all three corporations to see whether they are duly performing the obligatory functions mandated under the DMC Act. 

The North Delhi Mayor, Ravindra Gupta, said that the Delhi government adopted double standards when it came to scrutiny and accountability. 

"The Delhi government has a bias attitude towards the municipal corporations as it is only politicising the issue to hide its own corruption," he alleged.

"Despite the Court's order, Delhi Government is not releasing funds under the 3rd Finance Commission and implementing the 4th Finance Commission report. 

Had it released the funds on time, the corporations would not have faced such serious finance crunch. But instead of cooperating with the corporations in performing development functions, Delhi government is setting up committee to hide its own weaknesses," the Mayor said. 

Gupta further alleged that the move was a conspiracy to keep citizens busy in "useless issues" and divert people's attention from corrupt practices going on in various departments of Delhi government. 

"Delhi Government so far has not set up any committee on charges against its own departments. CNG scam is a recent example. It has given clearance to itself on its own. I request the Chief Minister to stop this petty politics as citizens of Delhi suffer the most," Gupta said. 

He further said that the North Corporation is ready for any audit or enquiry. However, he said that the enquiry should be conducted by an independent agency. 

The Mayor said, "North Corporation is not afraid of any kind of scrutiny as it has always functioned with complete transparency and accountability." 

He said that the decision of setting up an enquiry committee has been taken with a cruel and malafide intention as CAG already scrutinises the accounts of the municipal corporations from time to time.

Echoing his view, the East Corporation Mayor, Harshdeep Malhotra, said that the exercise was against the rules as the "Delhi government has no jurisdiction to order audit of autonomous municipal corporations." 

Further, the South Corporation passed a censure motion in its standing committee meeting on Thursday condemning AAP government's audit decision. 

The Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha, Vijender Gupta, also crticised the Delhi government's decision saying the move as "a serious threat to autonomy and independence of municipal institutions". 

Even in the case of pension for senior citizens, widows and physically handicapped, it did not pay any attention to pleas of municipalities. Therefore, the court had to direct it to take up the responsibility. 

"It reflects its unsympathetic attitude towards nearly 1.8 crore citizens residing within their jurisdiction and nearly 1.5 lakh employees who are finding it difficult to make their both ends meet. Motivated by political vendetta, it has over looked the effect that both public and employees are suffering untold hardships," said Gupta.

Source : The Statesman, 22nd Jan 2016

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