KOHIMA/DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 17: The Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) is reeling under a financial crunch hence it has been unable to pay salaries to its Staff for several months.
While the lockdown has affected the civic body’s revenue collection for over the last 5 months, several sources also said that the DMC is overstaffed due to random backdoor appointments in quite a number of the past years despite a ban on fresh recruitments since 2016.
To rationalize fiscal management and circumvent unproductive employees, the State Government had banned appointment of Staff in the DMC but this ban has been allegedly flouted by the Municipal Council authorities and has allegedly appointed a good number of people through backdoor means.
A Government source said such backdoor appointments are illegal and that RTI can be filed and lists can be obtained and widely publicized.
The State Government said show cause notice is issued if illegal appointments are made and such appointments are terminated.
“Government will issue show cause notice and if these appointments are found to be illegal, they will be terminated. This is the procedure,” a senior Government official said.
Sources said over a hundred staff have been appointed ever since appointments were banned.
The State Government is unable to filter backdoor appointments in other Departments, including in the Police Department, notwithstanding demands from various organizations and groups.
The Municipal Affairs Department, by an Order on November 8, 2016, had informed the Administrators of Municipal Councils and Town Councils about the Government’s earlier notification on banning appointments. It further directed Administrators of Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung Municipal Councils to submit details of their employees. “You are requested to strictly adhere to notification,” the order had stated.
Meanwhile, when Nagaland Page raised the issue of allegations of new appointments in the DMC, Administrator, Dimapur Municipal Council, Albert Ezung strongly refuted the charge and said, “No it is not correct, I have not issued any appointment orders and no new appointments have taken place.”
He also ruled out that the DMC is overstaffed. “We have quite a good number of employees in DMC but I cannot say that we are overstaffed”.
On non-payment of Staff salaries, Ezung said due to the lockdown all the markets, particularly Hongkong Market and New Market were closed and so there was no generation of revenue hence the failure of payment of salaries to the DMC Staff in the last 5 months.
He said, “It is because of the lockdown and our main revenue generating source such as New Market and Hongkong Market were closed since the last 5 to 6 months although now it is open. Because these 2 Markets were closed we could not realize any rent from them and that is also one of the reasons why we are not able to pay salaries to our Staff on time plus due to the lockdown toll collections have also been stopped.”
Citing lockdown as the main reason for the non-payment of salaries, Albert said, “It is because of the lockdown our revenue collections have been affected and that is the reason why we could not disburse salaries to our Staff during these past few months but prior to the lockdown we were paying salaries on time and once the lockdown started our revenue collection got affected”.
When queried on the date of payment of salaries with the reopening of both the prime Markets, he said the Markets have been opened last week only and it will take time to collect revenues and pay the Staff.
The DMC Administrator said, “Many traders have been requesting for waving the rent because the Markets have been closed for a very long time and it drastically affected all their business”.
He further said, “If I exempt the rent I will again face problems in disbursing the salaries and it is not possible.”
(Page News Service)