Delhi government told to table fourth finance panel report in assembly

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the city government to table the fourth Finance Commission in the next assembly session.

The fourth Finance Commission was set up in 2009 to review the financial position of the civic agencies and make recommendations on sharing net proceeds of taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied by the Delhi government.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice G.Rohini also directed constitution of fifth Finance Commission within eight weeks, and release of funds to the civic bodies.

“The Delhi government and lt governor shall also ensure that the recommendations made by the fourth Finance Commission together with the explanatory memorandum as to the action taken thereon is laid before the next assembly session without fail,” said the bench.

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“In the meanwhile, the government shall ensure that funds be released to the civic bodies in terms of the recommendations of the third Finance Commission of National Capital Territory of Delhi,” it added.

The third Finance Commission had recommended a 5.5 percent share of the tax, while the fourth Finance Commission has recommended that civic bodies’ share be increased to 12.5 percent.

The court’s order came on a PIL filed by NGO Campaign for People Participation in Development Planning, through advocate Anil Aggarwal, seeking that there must be an equitable distribution of funds between the government and civic agencies to ensure financial independence and proper functioning of municipal corporations.

The plea has said that the Delhi government and the lt governor have deliberately failed to constitute the fifth Finance Commission till date, after the term and tenure of the fourth Commission expired on September 18, 2014.

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