Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on Saturday that his government has released Rs 1051 crore as “aid” to the city’s cash-starved municipal corporations who have been failing to pay salaries to their staff regularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the Deputy CM did not lose a chance to hit on the corporations’ leadership which is run by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“It has come to our notice that Municipal Corporation of Delhi, due to its incompetence and corruption, has not been distributing salaries to its employees amid a pandemic. It reflects very poorly on the MCD if they are unable to even pay salaries to medical staff, doctors and nurses who are putting their lives on the line to save people in these unprecedented times. To cope and emerge from this pandemic, Delhi Government has issued assistance of Rs 1051 crore for MCD, in such a manner that MCD can effectively disburse salaries to employees who have not been able to receive it until now,” he announced.

“We hope that MCD’s leadership will guarantee this assistance is not used for any other activities, not diverted in any way, but used only to pay salaries of MCD employees involved in COVID-19 duty,” Sisodia added.

The senior AAP leader informed that a total of Rs 1051 crores earmarked for the three municipal corporations, Rs 366.9 crore will be given to East MCD, Rs 432.8 crore to North MCD and Rs 251.6 crore will be directed to South MCD.

Reacting to the development, North MCD, which received the fattest share from the Delhi government, said that the release of funds touted as assistance is actually dues of the corporations.

“The Deputy CM should clarify that this (funds released by Delhi government) is first-quarter dues of corporations and not a special fund for the salaries of employees,” Mayor Jai Prakash said.

He also questioned the AAP government that why was the grant amount of the first quarter issued after a delay of two months.

“The grant of first quarter amount gets released to all the corporations in April. We have written several letters to the Chief Minister to release the amount for the first quarter. Only after that, the government is forced to release our grant in the shroud of aid. This is no assistance, but clearance of our dues,” Prakash added.