New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and demanded the Union Territory’s share in central taxes and funds for Delhi municipal corporation.
This is Delhi government’s first meeting with the Union Finance Ministry after the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government in the Union Territory.
Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s Finance Minister, said, “After re-assuming the charge of Delhi’s Finance Minister, I met the Union Finance Minister today. There has been a positive discussion with him on cooperation for the economic development of Delhi.”
“During the meeting with the Union Finance Minister, I asked for funds to be provided for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in the same way as the central government gives (Rs 488 per capita per year) to the municipal corporations of other states. As of now, Delhi receives no funds from the central government for the municipal corporation,” he added.
The three municipal corporations of Delhi are ruled by the BJP. The municipal corporation has raised the issue of lack of funds in the past several years. Due to lack of funds, the salary of thousands of municipal employees could not be released for many months.
While the municipal corporation blames the Delhi government for the lack of funds, the Delhi government clarifies that the municipal corporation has been given more funds than previous years even when the government has not been receiving additional funds for the corporation by the Centre.
Elaborating about the meeting, Sisodia said, “I demanded share in the central taxes for Delhi so that work can be done in Delhi to open schools, hospitals and fasten the works of Yamuna cleaning, electricity and water.”
According to the Delhi government, Delhi should be given a share in central taxes collected from Delhi.
“Delhi has not been given any share in central taxes by the central government since 2001. 42 per cent of the central taxes are given to all other states based on the recommendations of the Finance Commission. Before 2001, Delhi used to receive its share in the central taxes,” Sisodia noted.