New Delhi: Financial crunch has led the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North DMC) to discontinue an old-age pension scheme since July last year, the civic body told the Delhi High Court on Friday.
The corporation told the court it has written to Delhi government to consider merging the Old Age Pension scheme with a similar one run by its Social Welfare Department.
Maintaining that the annual budget under the scheme was Rs 142.16 crore, the North DMC also said that since the trifurcation of the MCD, North DMC's budget deficit was Rs 500 crore in 2013-14, Rs 540 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 700 crore as per the budget estimate for 2015-16.
The corporation made the submissions in an affidavit filed after the high court on April 8 directed it to take a policy decision with regard to its pension scheme. The directive was also issued to the East and South Delhi municipal corporations.
The court's direction had come on a PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist through advocate Ashok Aggarwal claiming that the municipal bodies had stopped paying the pension under the old-age/widow/disabled persons pension and stipend scheme.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Wednesday informed the court that over 73,000 people were eligible to receive the benefit under its Old Age Pension scheme, but it had paid the amount to only 63,914 till September 30 last year, and the rest would be paid as soon as they provided details of Electronic Clearance Service (ECS) or Real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems.
On whether it intended to continue the scheme, SDMC said the matter has been placed before the standing committee of the corporation for taking a policy decision.
Earlier, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) had told the court that it has decided to continue its pension scheme covering over 30,600 disabled, widowed and elderly persons, subject to availability of funds.
It had also told the court that pension funds to the tune of Rs 107.52 crore has not been paid for the last 24 months due to lack of funds.