The Delhi MCA Act denudes the spirit of federalism
The State Election Commissioner (SEC) informed the media that it would be deferring the announcement following a letter from the Centre just earlier proposing the unification of the three municipal corporations.
- Number of seats- The number of seats in the MCD house is proposed to be capped at 250, and the final number will be decided by the central government at the time of establishment of the corporation. At present, there are 272 elected councillors in the three corporations together. This was the number even before the trifurcation
- Appointment of a special officer- Among the most important provisions of the Bill is one that allows the Centre to appoint a Special Officer until the first meeting of the unified MCD takes place. This means that until the elections are concluded, the Centre will likely appoint an officer to run the corporation.
- Replacement of the word- The other significant change is the replacement of the word “government” with “Central government” in all places. This basically takes the Delhi government out of the picture completely when it comes to decision-making in the unified corporation.
What Delhi govt loses
- No provision of appointing a Director of local bodies- The Bill does away with the provision of appointing a Director of Local Bodies by the Delhi government. The role of the local bodies director is to monitor cooperation among the corporations and to track the collection and sharing of toll tax.
- Powers taken away from Delhi Government- The Central government has also taken over powers from the State to decide on matters such as ‘salary and allowances, leave of absence of the Commissioner, the sanctioning of consolidation of loans by a corporation, and sanctioning suits for compensation against the Commissioner for the loss or waste or misapplication of municipal fund or property.
- No Consultation- The largescale usurpation of powers by the Central government has been done without any consultation with the Delhi government