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SDMC Lost Atleast Rs 1,600 Crore Due to Financial Irregularities: Report

Audit found lapses in all the departments under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation
SDMC Lost Atleast Rs 1,600 Crore

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to file a corruption complaint against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) with the national capital’s anti corruption branch. This is following an internal audit report which highlighted multiple financial irregularities in SDMC, said Saurabh Bhardwaj, Chief Spokesperson, AAP, and MLA from Greater Kailash constituency.

According to an internal audit report for financial year 2016-17 tabled in a standing committee meeting of the civic body on August 29, the SDMC has lost at least Rs 1,660 crore.

Although the report mentions numerous instances where the auditor highlighted irregularities to the department and officials, Bharadwaj said that there has been no response from the MCD. “The report is full of glaring examples of mismanagement and corruption. Surprisingly, the Central Auditor is asking to investigate but MCD does not even reply to Auditor,” Bhardwaj tweeted.

Reportedly, the south corporation has a budgetary deficit of Rs 678 crore with a reported income of Rs 3,219 crore against an expenditure of Rs. 3,897 crore during 2018-19.

The audit report contained at least 39 audit observations which detail irregularities pertaining to almost all the departments including those of accounts and finance, property tax, advertisement, licensing, engineering, building, environment, land and estate and health.

For instance, the report flagged that the SDMC did not collect property tax amounting to Rs 1,177.47 crore from both the government and private properties during the period prior to 2004. The report pointed out that the civic body was slow in recovering the outstanding dues. For instance, outstanding dues of licence fee from the commercial units amounting to Rs 10.63 crore was not recovered. Also, the corporation withheld pension funds of Rs 366.16 crore instead of disbursement to pensioners of the corporation.

The report highlighted a cost overrun of Rs 32.08 crore in the engineering department due to a 10-year delay in the completion of a 100-bed Purnima Sethi Multispecialty Hospital at Kalkaji.

Among other observations, the report highlighted wasteful expenditure to the tune of Rs 26.90 crore on a project to cover a drain running from Pushp Vihar to Defence Colony, as the National Green Tribunal had ordered to stop the same.

Furthermore, the report mentioned at least three cases of “doubtful execution of work.”

For the last 12 years, the Bharatiya Janata Party has been heading the three corporations of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

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