The Punjab government on Wednesday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that Rs 125 crore had been released to the local bodies of the state. The submissions were made during the resumed hearing of a contempt petition, wherein the HC (last week) had directed the government to release Rs 320 crore to civic bodies.
The state government on Wednesday filed an affidavit stating that an amount of Rs 125 crore was released on May 30 and it was in addition to Rs 15 crore already paid to municipal corporations, municipal committees and councils, said a counsel associated with the case Gagneshwar Singh.
Upon submissions, the high court has directed the state to release the remaining Rs 180 crore and also issue direction to use the amount to pay salaries and retiral benefits to employees. The bench consisting of justice Rajesh Bindal also directed the state to apprise the court on the time frame by which the amount will be released.
The arrears to be paid to local bodies are of the excise duty recovered from the sale of liquor and the auction of liquor outlets in the years 2011-12, 2013-14, and 2014-15. The high court was hearing a contempt petition filed by the class 3 and 4 employees of the Kotkapura municipal council after the state failed to comply with the high court directions to pay salary to employees.