Resolution passed on circle rates by AAP govt
Jung, however, ‘recognised’ and ‘appreciated’ the importance of the proposal on circle rates that would not just add revenue to the government but would ‘benefit farmers’ as well. The decision of the LG was made public hours within the Delhi Cabinet reversed the direction of the LG for a status quo on the notification of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal increasing the circle rate of agricultural lands.
“The Cabinet respectfully informs the Lieutenant Governor that it would not be possible for the government to implement his directions. The Cabinet is of the view that the LG does not have powers to stay notifications of the Delhi government and passed a proposal not to accept the decision of the LG. The officers are directed to follow the notification so that farmers do not face losses,” said spokesperson of Delhi government while briefing the Cabinet decision.
The decision was taken in an emergency Cabinet meeting on Thursday chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Secretariat. “The Council of Ministers considered the note containing the communication from the office of LG regarding revision of circle rates for agricultural lands. Citing the rule book, the government said: “the Lieutenant Governor is required to act on ‘aid and advice’ of the Council of Ministers according to Article 239 AA of the Constitution and this advice is ‘binding’ on the LG. The Cabinet urges the LG not to resort to issuance of such unlawful communications which become the cause of embarrassment for holders of High Constitutional Offices.”
The LG office has given two grounds to return the file to the CM Office. Firstly, it pertains to ‘Land’ which is a ‘Reserved Subject’, coming under the domain of the Central government. Moreover, the notification contains inherent inconsistencies. “Rates have been fixed for land that would come under the Land Pooling Policy. This policy has not yet become operational because villages that will be covered under the policy have not yet been declared ‘urban’ by the government. Therefore, it could be incorrect to fix the rates of such lands till the Land Pooling Policy becomes operational,” argued the LG’s Office.
Secondly, the notification does not fix the minimum price for land situated within the river bed which was has always been done in the past. He has, therefore, urged the GNCTD to submit a fresh, corrected notification, duly rectifying the flaws contained in the current notification.
Till this is done, the government has been asked to maintain status-quo and to submit a fresh notification for the approval of the Lieutenant Governor as expeditiously as possible.