Delay in constituting urban local bodies has prompted the Ministry of Finance to withhold Rs 50 crore which it was supposed to release to the Haryana government.
The Sunday Guardian has accessed the letter sent to the Haryana government by the Expenditure Division of the ministry. It says that the state has failed to constitute 44 out of 79 urban local bodies. "Since the grant is to be released to duly constituted local bodies only, 50 per cent of the due amount was released for the urban local bodies of Haryana as first instalment for the year 2015-16," states the letter written by A.K. Sachdeva, the ministry's deputy secretary.
The grant was to be released in two instalments. In the first instalment, nearly Rs 100 crore was due to Haryana, but the Centre only released Rs 49.9 crore.
Government of India had earlier accepted the recommendations for the release of grant-in-aid to state governments for duly constituted rural and urban local bodies.
The state government had represented to the Centre demanding the release of Rs 50 crore at the earliest. It said that the 14th Finance Commission had recommended a basic grant of Rs 199.61 crore for urban local bodies for 2015-16. A note prepared by the P.K. Das, Haryana Principal Secretary, Finance and Planning, mentions that there are many municipal committees which have not been re-constituted despite many of them having completed their terms long ago.