No funds to give 50% waiver on power bills: Delhi govt to HC
The city government today told the Delhi High Court that erstwhile Arvind Kejriwal-led cabinet’s decision to give 50 per cent waiver on power arrears of people
New Delhi: The city government today told the Delhi High Court that erstwhile Arvind Kejriwal-led cabinet’s decision to give 50 per cent waiver on power arrears of people who did not pay their bills from October 2012 to December 2013 cannot be implemented due to non-allocation of funds for the same in the budget for 2013-14.
In an affidavit submitted before a bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul, Delhi government said no provision was made in the budget to release funds, to the tune of Rs 6.821 rpt 6.821 crore, for providing the one-time relief to the electricity consumers who did not pay their bills.
“Department of Power, GNCTD, vide letter dated February 14, 2014, submitted a revised final Excess and Saving statement for financial year 2013-14 towards making provisions for one-time relief to electricity consumers to the tune of Rs 6.821 rpt 6.821 crore and for creation of a new budget head…
“The competent authority of the government has not made any provision in the budget for release of funds for the purpose and in absence of availability of funds, therefore, in the present circumstances it is not possible to implement the decision of the cabinet for providing relief to electricity consumers who stopped paying their bills anytime between October 2012 and May 2013 till December 2013,” the government told the court.
Advocate Vivek Sharma, on whose plea the court had stayed the operation of the cabinet decision to provide the 50 per cent waiver, contended since the government has only cited lack of funds as a reason for not implementing it, there is a possibility that it could come into force later when money is allocated for it.
“They are not saying they will withdraw it (waiver),” he said.
The court, after going through the affidavit and hearing Sharma’s argument, fixed the matter for final disposal on May 22.
Meanwhile, the stay on the operation of the cabinet’s decision will continue, the court said.