Delhi: MCD councillors’ allowance revised from ₹300- ₹25,000
While they do not receive salaries, the 250 municipal councillors get ₹300 as allowance for attending the meetings of corporation and its committees.
The Aam Aadmi Party-led Municipal Corporation of Delhi cleared a proposal in its house of councillors meeting on Thursday that increases the allowance paid to councillors for attending the official meetings from the current ₹300 to ₹25,000 per meeting.
While they do not receive salaries, the 250 municipal councillors get ₹300 as allowance for attending the meetings of corporation and its committees. The current set of councillors have approved the proposal to increase this amount by 83 times to ₹25,000 --with a maximum limit of ₹1,00,000 per month. The previous cap was ₹3,000 a month.
Mayor Shelly Oberoi, who presided over the meeting that took the decision, said that the decision was taken with the interests of the councillors in mind . “Councilors have several office expenses which they have to pay from their own pocket,” she added.
To be sure, the proposal will be sent to the urban development department and lieutenant governor VK Saxena will have to sign off on it.
HT reached out to the LG’s office, but officials said that they will comment only after the proposal reaches the lieutenant governor’s secretariat.
The allowances were last revised in 2004 when they were raised from ₹150 to ₹300 per meeting. The decision has sparked outrage from the opposition BJP, whose members boycotted Thursday’s meeting because it was held on Raksha Bandhan, a popular festival, which has said the hike is unjustifiable for a civic body facing massive financial crisis.
Justifying the step, mayor Oberoi said that the move has been passed for all 250 councillors irrespective of their political party.
“We have kept in mind all the legal and constitutional provisions while bringing this proposal,” she added. Oberoi said that positive response is expected from all the departments in subsequent approval process. “CM Arvind Kejriwal also believes that the councillors should get facilities so that the promises made to people can be fulfilled.”
The proposal was moved in the form a private member resolution by two AAP councillors, Chitra Vidyarthi from Wazirpur ward and Shivani Panchal from Rohtas Nagar ward, and it was passed unanimously by the AAP and Congress councillors through a voice vote.
“It will not be out of place to mention that councillor is representative of around 1 lakh population and supposed to interact with them and find solutions to their grievances. For effective monitoring, every councilor has to maintain an office along with support staff....,” the proposal reads.
In 2016, councillors of the erstwhile North MCD, then controlled by the BJP attempted to grant themselves monthly salaries of ₹90,000 with the then house passing a proposal to this effect but it could not be implemented.
Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva said his party strongly condemns Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal for allowing his party members to bring and approve such a resolution.
“It is shocking that once in power at any level Aam Aadmi Party’s first effort is to give a financial boon to its members. People of Delhi remember that Aam Aadmi Party in 2015-16 similarly tried to give 40 times raise in monthly salary of its MLAs,” Sachdeva said.
He added that the the house meeting took place on Raksha Bandhan day despite the BJP’s opposition and that taking advantage of the BJP’s absence in the house, the mayor allowed the private member resolution.
The AAP wrested control of the civic body last year, defeating the BJP which ruled the corporation for three consecutive terms. The elections were held after the MCD was unified by the Centre.