Millennium Post

EDMC, North MCD to get funds as per 4th DFC: AAP govt to HC

EDMC, North MCD to get funds as per 4th DFC: AAP govt to HC

NEW DELHI: The AAP government on Tuesday told the Delhi high court that it has decided to release over Rs 600 crore and Rs 400 crore to the East and North MCD, respectively in accordance with the recommendations of the fourth Delhi Finance Commission. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao was informed by the Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra that it will release Rs 632.05 crore and Rs 450 crore to East and North municipal corporations, respectively at the earliest.

The court asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit of compliance after releasing the funds to the MCDs and listed the matter for January 18.

It said the amount could be used for paying arrears of employees' salaries and pensions. The bench was hearing a batch of writ petitions on providing adequate funds to all the local bodies, including the municipal corporations, to enable their proper functioning.

On April 16 last year, the court had directed the Delhi government to release the amounts according to the 4th DFC (Delhi Finance Commission) within four weeks for the period from November 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, saying it was imperative to ensure salaries are paid and civic facilities not affected.

The court had earlier told the AAP government that it was liable to pay the municipal corporations in the city in accordance with the recommendations of the 4th DFC. It had said if the government had objections to releasing funds as claimed by the municipal bodies under the 4th DFC, the chief secretary will have to file an affidavit indicating reasons for it. It had also asked the corporations to inform the Delhi government about the amount of funds they needed to pay the salaries and pensions of their employees according to the 4th DFC recommendations.

In the first week of January, the Delhi government had accepted key recommendations of the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission (DFC), which, among other things, it says, would ensure more cash flow to the fund-starved municipal corporations. Accepting more than half of the DFC's recommendations, the government said it would give 12.5 per cent of its total tax collection to the city's five civic bodies. This new format will be effective from April 1, 2016, which means employees of the civic agencies will get arrears too, the government said.

Urban Development Minister Satyendra Jain said the tax share was currently 10.5 per cent as per the third DFC's recommendations. The hike would help the corporations, specially East Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation to recover their deficits.

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