New Delhi [India], March 25 (ANI): The High Court on Wednesday directed Delhi Government to release the outstanding amounts due towards Basic Tax Assignment (BTA) to the three Municipal Corporations on the basis of their own revised estimates presented in the Budget for the year 2021-22.
The direction of Delhi HC was passed by the division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli while hearing the three municipal corporations' petition seeking a direction to the GNCTD to pay the outstanding sums of BTA due to them, as per the figures outlined by the GNCTD in its own revised estimates dated March 9, 2021.
Court said, "In our view, there can be no point of dispute as regards the GNCTD not paying the dues towards BTA to the Corporations according to their own revised estimates, as has been the practice in the past. The GNCTD cannot seek to postpone the payment of BTA which is payable to the Corporations on the basis of the revised estimates for 2020-21, since the expenditures have to be incurred by the Corporations currently so as to meet their obligations towards their employees, pensioners and for discharging their statutory obligations."
Court also noted that the present petition, along with the batch of petitions, has been preferred by the employees and pensioners of the MCD since they have not been paid their salaries and pensions for a few months in these difficult times.
Counsel represented Municipal Corporations submitted that the Delhi Government has presented the budget for the Financial Year 2021-22 on the basis of the revised estimates for the Financial Year 2020-21, and these revised estimates show that the amounts payable by the Delhi Government to the three Corporations towards BTA are Rs 864.8322 crores for East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Rs 405.2640 crores for South Delhi Municipal Corporation and Rs 764.8092 crores North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Corporation's lawyer further submitted that as a matter of practice, in the past, the GNCTD has been consistently releasing the amounts towards BTA to the Corporations, after calculating the revised estimates at the time of preparation of the budget for the next financial year.
Advocate Satyakam, Additional Standing Counsel for Delhi Government has submitted that when the GNCTD undertakes the budgeting exercise for the subsequent financial year, it makes a provision for release of the BTA component, which would actually be payable upon finalization of the accounts for the previous year. However, he submits that the pandemic has completely changed the existing trend of revenue generation for the GNCTD in the last financial year, or FY 2020-21, and has rendered it a difficult year in that respect.
Advocate Satyakam also submitted that while the GNCTD proposes to release the amounts payable to the Corporations towards BTA, the same shall be done on the basis of the revised estimates, as well as the actual earnings for the GNCTD for the financial year 2021-22.
Delhi Govt lawyer further submitted that since the Budget presented for the financial year 2021-22 envisages payment of the remaining amount under the BTA for the financial year 2020-21, in 2021-22, any direction to pay the same in the current financial year would have an impact on the amounts payable towards BTA in the next financial year, i.e., 2021-22. (ANI)