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Due to funding delays and cash flow problem attributed to the impact of corona-induced lockdown and  GHMC officials’ preoccupation with the civic body elections as well as city flooding in the aftermath of October heavy rains, the corporation is struggling to pay salaries and pensions of its present and former employees, and has virtually stopped paying its contractors.

GHMC employees and pensioners are demanding the corporation to pay their salaries and pensions immediately, considering that one week has elapsed after their pay day — February 1.

According to sources, GHMC has been facing financial troubles mainly due to corona, floods and elections. For, officials had spent most of their time addressing issues related to corona, floods and elections, devoting hardly any time for pooling its funds to maintain cash flow. The corporation needs hundreds of crores of rupees to pay the salaries of its employees and to maintain its offices. Sources revealed that the GHMC had stopped making payments to its contractors too.

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The civic body has to pay Rs.134 crore to its employees every month and Rs.30 crore is needed additionally every month for maintenance of its offices. It needs about Rs.40 crore every month towards payment of bills raised by contractors for the construction and maintenance of roads, nalas and buildings.  The GHMC also needs Rs.60 crore to Rs.100 crore for the maintenance of roads and buildings across the GHMC limits.

In view of the fund crunch, officials are at a loss to decide which bills need to be paid on priority as the corporation cannot afford to pay all the pending bills right now with its meager funds. Some of the contractors have stopped developmental works, citing non-payment of existing bills. As a way out, GHMC higher officials have asked the zonal offices to collect all the taxes due to the corporation to improve its fiscal position.
Leaders of GHMC employees’ unions alleged that the corporation had been facing financial troubles as it had been “paying salaries in lakhs” to retired employees by appointing them again to key positions. They pointed out that never in the past salaries and pensions had been delayed. That apart, the state government, instead of extending budgetary support, had been diverting funds meant for GHMC funds to other departments, the alleged.

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Authorities of GHMC are contemplating to initially pay January salaries to contractual and outsourced employees and salaries to regular employees “only after the financial situation comes under control”. This has unnerved the employees.

Municipal Employees Workers Union general secretary Paladugu Bhaskar said that the government was not bothered to pay the salaries of employees of local bodies, particularly contractual and outsourced employees. In addition, there was delay this month in paying of salaries of regular employees. He demanded the government to pay the salaries of employees immediately.  Otherwise, the employees would launch an agitation, he warned. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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