What will change, if Delhi gets full Statehood?
In 1991, the 69th Constitutional Amendment granted special state to Delhi and it was declared the National Capital Territory while the Lieutenant Governor was nominated the Administrator of Delhi. This post was first created in September 1966. Aditya Nath Jha, the first Lieutenant Governor of Delhi was the ICS.
What is the current state of governance in Delhi?
It is known that Delhi has been given the status of Union Territory under Article 239A of the Constitution. This article has following provisions;
1. Delhi is a Union Territory
2. Delhi assembly has 70-seat, whose chief is Chief Minister.
3. There shall be a Legislative Assembly for the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the seats of Assembly shall be filled by members chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the National Capital Territory.
4. Administration of the state will be run by the Lieutenant Governor on the behalf of the President of India.
5. The Delhi Legislative Assembly has the right to make laws on the state list and concurrent list but Delhi assembly can not make legislation on three subjects namely "People, Land and Police". These subjects come under the purview of the Central Government only.
6. Lieutenant Governor (LG) will work as per the advice tendered by the Chief Minister and the Cabinet although it is not written anywhere that LG is bound to adhere to the advice.
7. The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly.
8. In the case of the difference of the opinion between the Lt Governor and the Ministers, Lt. Governor can send this matter for the consideration of the President whose decision will be final.
9. If any case is very urgent then in such situation the Lt. Governor has the right to take decision on the basis of his discretion.
If Delhi gets full statehood, what will change?
At present, Delhi is working as a dependent state. Its elected chief minister is not authorised to take decisions alone or CM has to seek the opinion of the LG.
Delhi government has to depend on the money from the central government to run the administration of the state. But current Kejriwal government want to change this process.
AAP government drafted ‘The State of Delhi Bill 2016’, made it public and sought suggestions.
Now let us know that what are the demands of the APP government in this draft;
1. The Bill does not propose any change in the territorial or political jurisdiction of NCT.
2. The New Delhi Municipal Council Area (Lutyen’s Delhi) is supposed to remain under the exclusive legislative control of the Parliament and executive control of the President, acting through the governor; so the current LG is to be replaced by a governor.
3. Presently Delhi does not have its own "Public Service Commission", therefore the Delhi government want a cadre for Delhi’s own use in the UPSC. So that the officers can be appointed by the Delhi Government according to their own will and the interference of the governor will end.
4. Delhi government has to pay for the police and other services; currently central government is paying for these services. This change will increase the Administrative costs of the state government. Its result will come out in the form of increment in the tax imposed by the state government. So the people of Delhi need to get ready if the state get the full statehood.
5. At present, VAT rates on fuel and other commodities in Delhi are lower as compared to cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai. But when the Delhi government has to make arrangements for its own expenses, then it will have to increase the rate of taxes on these items which will increase the burden on the pocket of its residents.
6. Delhi will have to continue buying electricity and water from other states because the government can not set up a power plant due to lack of place here and in the absence of the adequate fund the state government will not go for renewable sources of energy.
So, Kejriwal will have to say goodbye to his promise of free power and water as he does before the election.
It is worthy to mention here that currently electricity rates in Delhi are lowest as compared to other states of India.
7. If Delhi gets the status of full state, then money will be given to the state from Finance Commission as it is received by other states.
It is thus clear that if Delhi gets the status of full state then the Chief Minister of this state can take decisions from his discretion as the CM of other states do. On the financial front the state government will not be in the lose because if it loses assistance from the central government then on the other hand it will receive fund from the Finance Commission.
So if Delhi gets the full statehood it will be a win-win situation for the residents of Delhi and its CM because the government chosen by them will have the full right to ensure their development.