SDMC chairman moves HC, wants Kejri govt to release Rs 979 crore

In yet another face-off between the AAP government and the civic bodies, the South Corporation standing committee chairman has moved the Delhi High Court asking it to order the Delhi Government to release Rs 979 crore to it as pending funds.

Accusing the Arvind Kejriwal government of weakening the civic bodies, R S Sharma on Friday said it was violating constitutional provisions by not releasing grants to the corporations.

The chairman said the corporation had written a letter on August 3 to Delhi Chief Secretary in this connection. Since there was no response, he filed a writ petition in court on Thursday in his individual capacity.

“We have made four demands – to release funds towards global share of assigned taxes, municipal reforms fund, education, and grant in aid, along with implementing the report of Fourth Delhi Finance Commission,” he said.

The global share of assigned taxes was Rs 87.04 crore for 2014-15, he said.
“Under Municipal Reform Funds, we were only given Rs 60 crore in last three years. Under education, we have demanded a release of Rs 120.66 crore,” he added.

“It is the responsibility of the Delhi government to provide education, but it cut our budget under this head by Rs 120 crore in the year 2014-15. We did not reduce our spending and continued to provide free uniforms, shoes, etc to the kids. Due to this our budget under other heads suffered and we want the government to release the amount for smooth functioning of the corporation,” he said.

Terming the funds as corporation’s “legitimate right”, Sharma demanded a total of Rs 979 crore to be released.

The three Bharatiya Janata Party-run corporations and the Aaam Aadmi Party’s Delhi government have been at loggerheads over fund release and blamed each other for poor management of resources.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also said that if the civic bodies cannot run their affairs, they should hand them over to the Delhi government.

Earlier, East Delhi Municipal Corporation chariman B B Tyagi, along with Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta had moved the High Court asking the Delhi government to table the recommendation of the Fourth Finance Commission.

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