Swaraj Fund provisions may be weaved into municipal bills

Swaraj Fund provisions may be weaved into municipal bills

The legal provisions for Swaraj Fund, the AAP government’s brainchild to give people the power to spend public funds for various services and facilities, would be weaved within the two new municipal bills to be tabled in the Assembly session starting November 18.

Sources said there will be no separate bill to create the Swaraj Fund and the provisions related to involving community in decision making and spending would be weaved into the proposed updated municipal laws.

The long term objective is to ensure ‘mohalla sabhas’ at the level of each polling booth of the 70  Assembly constituencies.

“The Chief Minister wants to finish the ground work before the next session as some ends need to be tied in keeping with the Swaraj Fund announcement in July,” said an AAP functionary.

In all, there is a proposal to have about 3,000 ‘mohalla sabhas’ across the city, with about 10 in every municipal ward.  

The Kejriwal government is studying the feasibility of merging the draft Delhi Swaraj Bill with the Delhi Municipal Corporation Bill 2014 and the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Election of Councillors) Bill 2014.

The existing Municipal Act was enacted in 1957, when there was just one civic agency in the city. The proposal to amend the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act is aimed at bringing the civic law in sync with the current times.

“The civic agencies already have a system of ward committees sanctioning budget for development works. The ‘mohalla sabhas’ are proposed to be a tier below the ward committees,” said an official.

At present, only elected councillors can be members of ward committees.

Say in spending
The Swaraj Fund proposal is based on the foundation of allowing non-elected area residents to have a say in budget spending and prioritising development work.

A former MCD commissioner, who is still serving in the city, has been roped in to draft new municipal laws that accommodate the provision for non-elected people having a decision-making power over government funds.

The AAP government in its earlier stint had prepared a draft of the Delhi Nagar Swaraj Bill. But it could not be tabled as Kejriwal quit on the issue of not being allowed to bring in the anti-graft Jan Lokpal Bill.

The implementation of the Swaraj Bill was the major thrust of the AAP government which has already started ‘mohalla’ meetings in 11 Assembly constituencies.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia proposed Rs 20 crore for each of the 11 Assembly constituencies for the ‘mohalla’ meetings in his Budget. For the remaining, 59 constitutencies, an amount of Rs 50 lakh each was proposed by Sisodia.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)