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Baijal hits back at Sisodia, says Anganwadi workers not paid as funds were exhausted

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday hit back at the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s assertion about the delay in payment to Anganwadi workers due to the non-cooperation of government officers, saying that the dues were pending as the funds provided in the Budget 2017-18 for that purpose had already been exhausted.

Responding to Sisodia’s letter, the L-G clarified that after the Deputy Chief Minister raised the issue of delay in payment to Anganwadi workers and helpers, he got the matter verified from the department concerned.

In a statement, Baijal further stated that as per the status report received from the department, the payment of rent to Anganwadi premises was upto date till January 2018 and sufficient funds were available under that head.

“As such, it may not be correct to say that the payment of rent has been pending for three months. Still, if any specific case(s) of unpaid dues are in the notice of Dy CM, he may take it up with the department,” the statement read.

Regarding the payment of honorarium to Anganwadi workers and helpers, the L-G said the department had informed that the payment to Anganwadi workers had been made upto November 2017 and that of Anganwadi helpers upto December 2017.

The L-G mentioned that the department had informed that the payments for the remaining months were pending as the funds provided in the Budget 2017-18 for that purpose had been exhausted.

The L-G noted that being both the Finance Minister in-charge of Budget preparation and minister heading the Department of Women and Child Development, the Deputy Chief Minister would like to introspect why the Budget could not be planned in a more meticulous manner and provision for the additional requirement not made timely.

Baijal requested Sisodia to take urgent corrective action for provision of adequate funds to ensure timely release of honorarium.

He said he wished that Sisodia, being the minister in-charge, had checked the facts with the department and taken timely action for provision of funds as Finance Minister before writing to him.

On 28 February, Sisodia had accused the L-G for “backing” government officers who were boycotting meeting with ministers over an alleged attack on the chief secretary by the ruling AAP legislators at the Chief Minister’s residence.

Sisodia had said for three months 10,000 Angadwadi workers, 10,000 Anganwadi helpers, and 10,000 Anganwadi landlords have not received their salaries because of IAS officers.