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Delhi Government Agrees to Fund RRTS Projects After Spending Rs 1073.16 Crore on Ads

By LawStreet News Network      25 July, 2023 08:16 PM      0 Comments
Delhi Government Agrees to Fund RRTS Projects After Spending Rs 1073.16 Crore on Ads

NEW DELHI:  The Delhi government on Monday agreed before the Supreme Court to provide funds for regional rapid transit system (RRTS) projects for Delhi-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat corridors as the top court threatened to divert its advertisement budget of Rs 1073.16 crore, spent in three financial years, for the public transport facility.

The Delhi government led by senior advocate A M Singhvi said the government will release the first instalment of Rs 415 crore within two months.

The state government also informed the top court that it has spent Rs 1073.16 crore on advertisements in the last three financial years.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia directed the Delhi government to begin releasing funds for the projects within two months.

The state government agreed to clear the arrears and contended before the court that it will provide funds for the projects and the first installment will come within two months.

On July 3, the Supreme Court directed the Delhi government to furnish detailed account of how much it spent on advertisements in the last three financial years, after it expressed its inability to provide funds for regional rapid transit system (RRTS) projects for Delhi-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat corridors.  

In an affidavit, the Delhi government said the funds utilised for advertisement by Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP), GNCTD from the DIP budget and other departments/ autonomous bodies/ organization etc is Rs 1073.16 crore.

The state government also maintained that the expenditure for advertisements is a necessary component of good governance and effective administration.

"The funds allocated for publicity purposes are aimed at maximising the reach and impact of government policies, ultimately benefiting the public at large,” it said.

It said that by investing in publicity, the Delhi Government aims to bridge the gap between the government and its citizens, ensuring that the benefits of its schemes and programs reach the intended beneficiaries to enable the public to make informed decisions and take advantage of the resources provided by the government.

The top court had ordered Delhi government to bring on record its advertisements spends, after it cited lack of availability of funds as the reason for its inability to contribute its share of Rs 3,261 crores and Rs 2,443 crores towards the construction of the Delhi-Gurugram-Rewari-Alwar and Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat corridors. Apart from this liability, the Delhi government is also required to contribute Rs 1180 crore towards its share for the construction of the Delhi-Meerut corridor.

The state government said, “One of the significant reasons for the scarcity of funds is the termination of the GST Compensation Programme in June 2022, which has severely impacted Delhi. The promise of GST leading to buoyant state revenue has not been realised due to multiple reasons, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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