January 19, 2021 1:36:27 am
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Monday has urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to treat Delhi “on par” with Jammu and Kashmir and other Union Territories in terms of central assistance under the Disaster Response Fund.
In a letter to Sitharaman, Sisodia said while other states received financial assistance from the Disaster Response Fund, the Delhi government did not. He also demanded that the civic bodies in the city be funded like local bodies in other states.
Sisodia placed his demands during the pre-budget meeting for the year 2021-2022. He said Delhi, by virtue of being a UT with a legislature, is not included in the terms of references for the Central Finance Commission and gets Rs 325 crore as part of grants under central taxes. “Being the capital of the country and one of the fastest growing metropolises, the Delhi government needs to maintain an infrastructure that meets world standards. We want to improve supply of civic amenities to meet the demands of the burgeoning population that expects a quality standard of living… Moreover, we need funds to make huge investments in crucial departments like education, health, food securities, transports, roads and hospitals,” Sisodia said.
He appealed to the Centre that the capital deserves enhanced allocation of at least Rs 8,150 crore as part of its revised estimates for 2020-21 and Rs 8,555 crore under budget estimates for 2021-22.
He said Delhi should at least be provided Rs 1,150 crore with an annual enhancement grant for its local bodies and a one-time grant of Rs 12,000 crore, keeping in mind the financial stress that the MCDs find themselves in.
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