HC directs Delhi govt to release outstanding amount to 3 MCDs before Mar 31

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Delhi government to release the outstanding amount to the three municipal corporations as per its own revised estimate before March 31, to enable them to pay salaries and pensions of employees.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said there was no justification of the Delhi government not paying Basic Tax Assignment (BTA) to the corporations -- East, North and South — as per its own revised estimate for the financial year 2020-21.

“We, therefore, allow the application (of EDMC) and direct the Delhi government to release the remaining amount of BTA to the corporations as per its own revised estimate in this financial year itself,” the bench said.

It listed the matter for reporting compliance of its order on April 5, when a batch of petitions relating to non-payment of salaries of MCD employees was already fixed for hearing.

The court was informed that as per the revised estimate of Delhi government, the amount payment by the state to EDMC, SDMC and NrDMC towards BTA is Rs 864.8 crore, Rs 405.2 crore and Rs 764.8 crore respectively in the financial year 2020-21.

Advocate Manu Chaturvedi, representing EDMC, told the court that during the year, the corporation has received Rs 501 crore and an amount of Rs 363 crore is due to be received from Delhi government.

“With only a few days left before the amount is likely to be lapsed with the end of the present financial year, if not transferred by the Delhi government to EDMC,” he submitted.

The remaining amount to be paid to SDMC and NrDMC by Delhi government is not known.

Delhi government counsel Satyakam said it has been a difficult year in terms of generation of revenue for the government also.

The bench said the Delhi government cannot seek to postpone payment of BTA as per revised estimate to the next financial year, since corporations have to make payments now to pay salaries and discharge other financial obligations.

It noted that one of the major sources of revenue for the corporations is made by the Delhi government inter alia BTA and the corporations have to meet their expenditures towards salaries and other expenses on a day to day basis.

It noted that a large proportion of receipts that corporations get and revenue generated is defrayed to payment of salaries and pensions.

The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it based on news reports that doctors of Kasturba Gandhi Hospital have threatened to resign as they have not been paid salaries since March last year.

Besides this, various other petitions relating to non-payment of salaries and pensions to teachers, hospital staff, sanitation workers, engineers are also pending in the court. PTI SKV SA