Kejriwal demands Rs.4,087 crore for civic bodies from Centre

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday demanded Rs.4,087 crore from the Centre as special grant-in-aid for civic bodies in the national capital.

The central government has omitted Delhi and other union territories from receiving grant-in-aid following the 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations.

Calling the move “unfair”, Kejriwal wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the three municipal bodies in Delhi perform the same function as municipalities in other states.

“This argument is completely unfair as the omission of the local bodies of Delhi by the Finance Commission on technical grounds does not fulfil the mandate. Further, taxation and other fiscal powers of the Delhi government are also similar to other states,” Kejriwal said.

The chief minister said the civic bodies are already reeling under a financial crunch and the central government should consider this issue accordingly.

“The local bodies in Delhi and other states are in financial crunch. It is incumbent upon the Centre to consider this matter in an objective and holistic manner and in accordance with the spirit of the constitution,” he said in the letter.

He also urged the central government to ensure that Delhi and other union territories are allotted their dues in future by the finance commission.

“It is further requested that while drafting the terms of reference of future finance commissions, it should be ensured that Delhi and other union territories are also included in the scope of grant-in-aid,” Kejriwal wrote.

The 14th Finance Commission allocated grant-in-aid of Rs.2,87,436 crore for local bodies for 2015-2020. However, Delhi and other UTs were left out on the ground that only states are covered under the award scheme of the finance commission.

–IANS

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