Delhi AAP Government’s Maiden Budget

The AAP government in Delhi has presented its maiden budget after many rumblings. The budget is based on their promises and it is applauded by its critics.

The budget presented in the Delhi assembly shows Rs 41, 129 crore and on the expectations of the middle and lower class people. The budget’s main focus is on education and health which is important for the people of Delhi. The entertainment tax is hiked.

Sector wise  budget allocation

Education -Rs 4570 crore

Transport – Rs 3695 crore

Public health and medical services- Rs 3158 crore

Social security- Rs 2348 crore

Urban development- Rs 1793 crore

Water supply and sanitation- Rs 1468 crore

Power- Rs 645 crore

Others- Rs 1343 crore

According to Delhi’s Finance minister the investment in the education is not an expenditure. The opposition parties have welcomed the point and wondered from where the government propose to raise the fund.

The finance minister Mr. Sisodia in his budget speech claimed that it is the budget of aam admi and swaraj budget. The budget meets the hopes and aspirations of the Delhi people, the minister added. The finance minister vowed to make the Delhi as a world class skill centre.

According to him the budget is on the lines of party’s plans for Delhi and called the budget as ‘Swaraj budget’. The allocation for education is Rs 9,836 core, up by 106% over last year allocation. The health sector gets Rs 4,787 core. The party’s blue print for Delhi is giving importance to both sectors.

The government’s proposal for opening of 500 neighbourhood clinic by the end of the financial year is a smart one. The government has proposed to double the hospital bed capacity by 10,000 in the next two years. It further made allocations for increasing ambulance services. But the million dollar question is how government is going to fund the project.

But the ruling party remains confident, according to the National secretary of the AAP, Pankaj Gupta, the budget allocation is double than last year and claimed that the budget is prepared on its goal of education and health.  With increased allocation on health and education, the budget meets the aspirations of the common man, according to him. The top leadership of AAP party has ensured that the budget is prepared for the common man, the party’s vote bank. In the budget a new scheme called swaraj Nidhi , through which it hopes to address the problems of the common man.

Budget for Aam Aadmi
Budget for Aam Aadmi

Keeping in mind the advances in technology, the budget proposes to give Wi- Fi connection in the identified areas where the internet usage is more.  In this year’s budget the public transport gets an allocation of Rs 5, 085 crore. This year 1380 low floor buses, 500 minibuses and 1000 cluster buses are going to be introduced. 1200 new bus shelters will be constructed in the year 2016.  The budget gives a push to proper utilization of funds for the key sectors and reduce wastage. The proper utilization of funds will ensure the work will be delivered on the targets of the government, explains Gupta one of the important members of AAP.

The budget wants to remove the inspector raj, and proposes to introduce e-governance and m-governance. Through two programs the AAP government hopes to make the administration better. The women’s safety is another important point for the government and in this year’s budget marshals are going to be deployed in buses, CCTV cameras are going to be installed in all rooms of government schools, DTC buses women’s hostels.

The highlights of this year’s budget receipts (in crore) are;

Tax revenue –                                                                   34661

No-tax revenue-                                                                  1127

Capital receipts-                                                                    381

Centrally sponsored schemes-                                            800

Share in central taxes-                                                          325

 

Normal central assistance-                                                  395

Small saving loan-                                                                1038

Other receipts-                                                                     1257

Opening balance-                                                                 1516

Total receipts-                                                                    41500

According to this year’s budget the following are the expenditures (in crores )for the government;

Plan expenditure-                                                                19000

Non plan expenditure-                                                        22129

CSS-

Total expenditure-                                                               41129

The surplus in the fiscal year is 371 up by 9.8 %

According to party MLA from Greater Kailash Saurabh Bhardwaj, the allocations in the budget meets the party poll promises. He went on to say education and health sector were given focus with more support. This is in line with our promise of the Delhi CM. He further added, the budget is the first step in this direction. Unlike other parties which promises high and fail to deliver, we kept our promises.

He quoted from the budget to prove his point on the increased allocation for education and health. The government is concerned about women’s safety and students that is why more allocation is provided in the budget. The government proposes to give two certificates to  students, one for the board and other skills. The skill development is important as it enhances the chances of getting a job on completion of their studies. The budget has proposed to give internship to over one lakh students in various companies.

With increased budget support to the two key sectors the AAP government hopes to end the license raj in the city. The government is working overtime to simplify the rules and make education and health affordable for the common man. If the measures taken by the Delhi government produce results, it will be a victory for the part . The other state governments in the country will take a leaf out from AAP government, Anup Tagore a senior AAP party man.

The following are the comments from the people. According to Ram from South Delhi, the proposal to give vocational training to students and improving facilities in government schools is welcome. It will help the poor and down-trodden. With more allocation to the education he hopes that students from government schools will take on their counterparts from private schools on skills and exams. He wants proper utilization of the allocation, to realize this goal. He welcomed the move of setting up of Delhi District Urban Development Agency in every district.

With AAP government effort to bring under its control of Delhi police. The Delhi government has allocated Rs 927 crore for the social sector.. Under the allocation the family of Police, home guard or civil defence personnel who dies on duty will get 1 crore as compensation.

The AP government is surrounded by controversies for its fight with the Lt. Governor. Further the government is put on the back foot over the strike by sanitation workers of the MCD. The strike by sanitation workers of MCD leave the streets of Delhi with more garbage as they refused to work demanding hike in their salaries. Keeping in mind the coming civic elections, the AAP government allocated over Rs 5, 908 to all municipal corporations of the city.  According to the party member from East Delhi, the proposal will ensure smooth functioning of corporations, thus providing a major relief to the party.

A new fund called  Swaraj Nidhi is created with an allocation of Rs 253 crore. Under the scheme the basic amenities in the residential localities will be met. Each assembly constituency will be given Rs 20 crore and the scheme is going to be started in 11 constituencies of the Delhi state, the finance minister Sisodia in his budget speech.

The government may incur the wrath of people over its hike in luxury and entertainment tax. The move will affect the people who are using gymnasiums, spas, cinema tickets, hotels.

According to a top leader of the party Pankaj Gupta, the hike on luxury and entertainment tax is right as it will generate more for the government coffers. Common man won’t be affected over the proposed hike in tax, he went to add.

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Author: Geeta Choudhary