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Delhi govt claims no funds for infrastructure but splurges on employees with cars and offices



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Delhi govt claims no funds for infrastructure but splurges on employees with cars and offices


The Delhi govt seems to be splurging on its employees with many of them, including the contractual ones, being provided with vehicles and offices.

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government seems to be splurging on its employees with many of them, including the contractual ones, being provided with vehicles and offices. This despite the claim that it has no money for even basic infrastructure work in the city. The government has 17 regular co-terminus staff, another eight on contract and one more on deputation. In addition to these, the appointment of 21 parliamentary secretaries drew massive criticism from opposition parties, who call it an insidious form of corruption.

Data provided by the government in response to a question put up by BJP MLA O P Sharma shows that at least 10 co-terminus staff have been provided with a house. For instance, CM Arvind Kejriwal's private secretary Bibhav Kumar has been given a house, office and phone, besides Rs 1 lakh in salary. Similarly, his joint secretary Aswathi Muralidharan has a house, office and phone.

Of the five advisers appointed on a contract basis, three are drawing a monthly salary of Rs 1.15 lakh. While the government says that of sanctioned 81 posts for co-terminus employees it has only 28, opposition parties have questioned why it has hired so many people from within the party itself. "The staff of the previous government was drawn from different departments because of which there was no additional burden on the exchequer. None of them, including Sheila Dikshit's PS, was from the Congress party.

This, and appointment of 21 parliamentary secretaries, is another form of corruption by giving ranks and perks to their people," said DPCC chief Ajay Maken.

The government says the purpose of having co-terminus staff is to allow the ministers to work with people they are comfortable with. "The PS and joint PS will obviously be given accommodation to ensure that they are living close to the CM. The remaining officials who have been allocated homes include officials on deputation," said a source.

Responding to criticism that the government had appointed drivers who did not even have a licence, and had been given up to a year to obtain one, an official said all drivers were competent. and the requirement was for a LMV commercial licence.

"In certain cases where class X certificates have been asked for, the people are qualified but have not submitted their certificates," he said.

Both BJP and Congress have raised objections to Delhi MLA (Removal of Disqualification) (Amendment) Bill, 2015, passed by the assembly. Calling this a safety net for its 21 parliamentary secretaries, Maken said only the CM was entitled to parliamentary secretaries and no MLA was permitted any perk unless through an exception made by a law, like the Bill. "Each secretary has been entitled to a vehicle and office. There may be no said remunerative gains but AAP is just trying to keep its flock together. The Bill passed by them is an effort to regularize these posts retrospectively. However, we are demanding that the LG does not approve it till the case is sub-judice," said Maken.

A government spokesman defended the posts, saying nobody was entitled to any perks and even the vehicles were only for official use. "No vehicle has been specifically earmarked for each parliamentary secretary and even now, most MLAs were using their private vehicles for their work," he said.

HINDUSTAN TIMES, JUL 02, 2015

South body to convert toilets to flower shops


Mohit Sharma
The south Delhi municipal corporation has decided to construct, flower shops, sewing coaching centers, milk and vegetable booths in buildings which were originally meant to serve as high-end toilets at nine posh colonies in the city.

The locations include Defence Colony, Greater Kailash, Chittaranjan Park, Nehru Place, etc.

The civic body may, however, would find it difficult to implement the order since the agencies that it had contracted to build the high-end toilet blocks have moved court against its decision to scrap an earlier plan to construct 200 such toilets.

The unified MCD in 2010 had announced the scheme for construction of toilets in more than 200 markets and notified commercial areas ahead of the Commonwealth Games to provide “aesthetically pleasing hygienic, ultra modern toilets of international standards.”

“The corporation had asked nine bidders to construct model toilets in nine prime locations and said the best would be chosen to construct over 200 high-end public convenience facilities across Delhi,” said an SDMC official.

But in 2010, the chief town planner expressed concern over the implementation of the scheme and recommended annulment of the contracts. Following this the concessionaires moved the court.

The opposition leaders said until the concessionaires are compensated or the court decides the matter, implementing the plan would be violation of the law. 

“The matter needs to be probed. The corporation got an anticipatory approval for the plan which is illegal under the DMC Act,” said leader of the opposition Farhad Suri. He also said that since the roads belong to PWD, as soon as the propertyiesare made commercial they will go to the Delhi government.



PARLIAMENT
ECONOMIC TIMES, JUL 02, 2015

Parliament panel wants doubling of pay, automatic pay revision mechanism for MPs


By Dipak K Dash
At present, sitting MPs get monthly salary of Rs 50,000. The panel has also recommended that the daily allowance of Rs 2,000 should be increased substantially.
NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel has recommended doubling the salary of law makers and also increasing pension of former MPs by almost 75%. The joint committee, which has submitted its recommendations to the government, has also proposed an automatic pay revision mechanism for parliamentarians like that of pay commission for government employees.

Sources said the panel has made a total of around 60 recommendations. "The committee has reasoned that the last revision of MPs salary happened in 2010 and they don't get any dearness allowance like that of government employees," said a government source.

At present, sitting MPs get monthly salary of Rs 50,000. The panel has also recommended that the daily allowance of Rs 2,000, which they get for attending the House during Parliament sessions should be increased substantially, sources said.

"The hike is overdue. Our daily expenses only for offering tea to visitors come to around Rs 1,000. Can we stop showing this little courtesy to electorates?" asked a sitting BJP lawmaker.






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