HC asks state, Centre and civic bodies to sit together and sort out financial issues

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre, Delhi government and the civic bodies to meet and find a solution to the financial difficulties being faced by the three municipal corporations.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said a committee should be constituted to look into the financial aspects of the corporations as well as the Delhi government. “We expect that this meeting shall be convened at the earliest,” the bench said.

The court was hearing an application moved by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, alleging that Rs 90.60 crore payable as grant-in-aid under the sanitation/urban development head, for the first quarter ending June 30, had not been released yet by the Delhi government. The plea said Rs 181 crore under the same head for the second quarter is also due.

On Tuesday, advocate Satyakam, the additional standing counsel of the Delhi government, told the court that it had not received over Rs 10,000 crore from the Centre as its share of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection and hence the government had not been able to release money to the civic bodies.

Following this, the court said that a meeting between all stakeholders should be convened to discuss all the issues, especially the financial aspect. The matter would be now heard on September 8.

In its plea filed through advocate Mini Pushkarna, th north corporation said the funding was meant for payment of salaries of sanitation activities.

In its application, the north corporation has said expenses towards salaries till May 2020, sanitation services and providing PPE kits, gloves, masks, sanitizers to the workers, had been incurred by the corporation from its own internal resources, in the absence of any amount being released by the Delhi government.

The application has been filed in a pending writ petition by one Rahul Birla seeking directions to the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to pay salaries to sanitation workers with arrears.

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