Increase Delhi’s share in central taxes: Manish Sisodia
Ahead of the Union budget on July 5, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia Friday urged the Centre to increase Delhi’s share in central taxes and its ‘normal central assistance’, provide 100% funding for centrally sponsored schemes, increase financial support to local bodies and give special grant to run fast-track courts.
Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s finance minister, made these demands at a pre-budget meeting convened by union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Delhi as the Capital of the country must necessarily keep up with its demands for developing infrastructure and cannot be allowed to lag behind,” Sisodia said in a detailed note to Sitharaman.
The state finance minister urged the Centre to increase the ‘normal central assistance’ to Delhi from the existing Rs 472 crore to Rs 1,500 crore for the current year. “Our expenditure on various schemes/programmes has increased by more than nine times i.e. from ₹3,129 crore in 2000-01 to Rs 27,000 crore in 2019-20 (BE). The normal central assistance which was 11.8% of plan expenditure in 2000-01 has declined to 2% in 2019-20,” read Sisodia’s note to Sitharaman.
He also demanded Delhi’s share of Rs 6,000 crore from central taxes and said the city has been getting only Rs 325 crore for the last 18 years. “The people of Delhi give Rs 1.5 lakh crore as central taxes. Other states get 42% of the share from central taxes,” Sisodia tweeted in Hindi.
For the last four years, the Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal, has been demanding that Delhi’s share in central taxes and duties be increased. In the Union interim budget in February this year, the Centre had allocated Rs 1,112 crore for Delhi, while keeping its share in central taxes and duties unchanged.
To improve the financial health of the municipal corporations in the national capital, Sisodia demanded Rs 1,150 crore in the regular Union budget 2019-20. “The Delhi government recently adopted the recommendations of the fifth Delhi Finance Commission. Accordingly, funds of Rs 4,362 crore were devolved in the year 2018-19 and funds for Rs 4,575 crore were kept for local bodies in the BE 2019-20,” he said.
The Delhi government also demanded a share of about Rs 3,202 crore from the Centre under the Goods and Services Taxes.
It said that the Centre owed the Delhi government that much amount in the form on unsettled dues of IGST which it claimed goes up to Rs 1.68 lakh crore.
It also demanded a special grant for running fast-track courts in Delhi, citing a Supreme Court order which it said emphasises equal funding by the Centre and state for the fast track courts as well as for creation of additional 10% posts of the existing cadre which is the Delhi Higher Judicial Services and Delhi Judicial Services.
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