Delhi policy decisions may face delays: Here's why
The amended Government of National Capital Territory (GNCT) of Delhi Act may cause delays in policy decisions as the new law mandates the approval of the Lieutenant Governor (L-G).
The controversial law gives more powers to the L-G, making it mandatory for the elected Delhi government to seek his approval in all executive actions.
It had received President Ram Nath Kovind's assent on Sunday.
Schemes on doorstep ration delivery, excise policy may be affected
Reportedly, with the L-G's new powers, key schemes such as the doorstep delivery of ration and the updated excise policy might become victims.
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has notably urged the L-G to scrap both the schemes.
However, there is still ambiguity about when the amended law would come into effect and its impact on the Delhi Legislative Assembly.
Provisions under amendment to be enforced after gazette notification: Official
According to The Times of India, many in the Delhi administration believed that Tuesday was the first working day under the new administrative setup.
An official told the publication that the provisions of the amendment would come into force after the Centre notifies it in the official gazette. There is no need to send all policy decisions to the L-G, the official said.
Clarification may come with notification: Source
A source told the publication that rules regarding the amended law may be included in the notification to clear any confusion. The L-G may communicate with the assembly through a message to give effect to the amendments, the source added.
Assault on democracy and federalism: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has described the Bill as the "BJP's assault on democracy and federalism."
When the Bill cleared the Rajya Sabha, he had said, "Sad day for Indian democracy...We will continue our struggle to restore power back to people. Whatever be the obstacles, we will continue doing good work. Work will neither stop nor slow down."
Opposition described Bill as 'unconstitutional'
On March 25, Rajya Sabha Member and advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the Bill was "the most pernicious and most unconstitutional Bill Rajya Sabha has ever received."
In the Parliament, the Opposition had also described the Bill as "unconstitutional."
AAP's Delhi convener Gopal Rai had said that the Delhi government was taking legal opinion on the amendment and may move the Supreme Court.
What does the GNCT Bill say?
The Bill seeks to amend the GNCT of Delhi Act, 1991, and redefines Delhi Government as the L-G.
It says the L-G's opinion "shall be obtained" on all such matters as may be specified by him before any executive action on decisions of the Council of Ministers.
The Union Home Ministry will now declare when it will come into effect.