The East Delhi Municipal Corporation is pinning its hopes on the implementation of recommendations of the Fourth Finance Commission, which provide civic bodies greater share of taxes collected by the state government.
“We are hoping the state government will implement the recommendations. That would provide us about Rs 4,900 crore in arrears and about Rs 1,700 crore every year,” Commissioner, east Delhi, Mohanjeet Singh told The Indian Express after presenting the last budget for the current term of the EDMC Wednesday.
The implementation of the report is essential to pull the East body out of its financial trouble.
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The third finance commission provides 5.5 per cent share of government’s tax collection to civic bodies, while the fourth finance commission recommends increasing this to 12.5 per cent.
But the state government has not expressed willingness to implement this report despite tabling it in the Assembly. The three civic bodies cater to 97 per cent of Delhi’s population and East Delhi forms its most densely populated area, accommodating about 40 lakh people in 105 sq km.
As many as 245 colonies under its jurisdiction are unauthorised, thereby limiting its income significantly, since property tax forms the largest part of the civic bodies’ internal revenue. “It is a challenge to provide civic services in such circumstances. EDMC has been in poor financial condition since it was conceived and we are not in a position to provide salaries to our employees on time,” the commissioner said.
The EDMC budget deficit has already reached Rs 2,041 crore in the current financial year.