The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday hit back at the BJP and said that though the Arvind Kejriwal government was being targeted for non implementation of the fourth Delhi finance commission recommendations, the civic bodies were mum when it came to asking the Centre to do its bit.
“We have said time and again that the AAP dispensation will implement the recommendations only if it is done in totality — that is the Centre implements the parts recommended for the Union urban development ministry. While demanding the implementation of the report, the BJP conveniently forgets that the Centre is to give the government some share of revenue,” AAP leader Dilip Pandey told reporters.
The Delhi Fourth Finance Commission was constituted on October 14, 2009, and it submitted its report to the Sheila Dikshit government in March, 2013. The terms of reference of the commission included measures to improve the financial position of municipalities.
The recommendations were to be implemented from 2010 to 2015. It was, however, delayed by three years. The AAP government finally tabled it in the Assembly in December 2015.
The key recommendations included:
TO DELHI GOVERNMENT:
The Delhi government was advised to increase the share in state taxes, duties, fees and toll to 12.5% against the existing 9.5%. The corporation was also recommended to change the existing formula of sharing funds among municipalities, that is population and area in 70:30 ratio as it adversely affected the financial health of at least two municipal corporations.
The commission has also recommended 100% grant-in-aid in education to the civic bodies.
TO UNION URBAN DEVELOPMENT MINISTRY
The commission recommended the ministry not to deal with matters relating to constitution and powers of the municipalities and other local authorities in Delhi besides recusing itself from framing building bylaws.
Another key recommendation included transfer of control over Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and usage of the public funds collected in coffers of the DDA for development work in the Capital.
TO MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS
The municipal bodies were directed to focus on core functions to improve financial health and exercise economy in expenditure on non-core issues. The measures included focussing on widening the tax base. The report said that less than 25% of stock of buildings and vacant land are paying property tax on a voluntary basis.