Process to set up 5th finance panel initiated, Delhi HC told

New Delhi, (IANS) The Delhi government on Thursday told the high court here that the process of constituting the 5th Finance Commission has been initiated and the entire procedure would be completed within four months.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath was told that a proposal has been sent to its urban development department for the constitution of the 5th Finance Commission.

The commission will review the financial position of the municipalities and make recommendations regarding sharing of net proceeds of taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied by the city government.

The Delhi High Court on June 29 pulled up the AAP government for delay in the constitution of the 5th Finance Commission and for “sleeping over” implementation of recommendations of the 4th panel.

On implementation of the recommendations of the 4th finance commission, the city government said Rs.855.31 crore has been given to the three MCDs till June.

It also said the urban development department has taken the views of all stakeholders and further steps will be taken after receiving appropriate orders from the competent authority.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Campaign for People Participation in Development Planning last month, seeking direction to “immediately release adequate funds” to the municipalities, in the wake of protest by the worker over non-payment of salaries.

The NGO, represented by advocate Anil K. Aggarwal, has also moved an application to restrain Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung from “utilising” the consolidated fund of the national capital till the share of the municipalities is disbursed from it.

The court sought response from the Delhi government on the application and listed the matter for further hearing on August 6.

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