Kejriwal keeps focus on health and education in Delhi govt’s Rs 48,000 cr budget
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government today presented its third budget for Delhi that focusses on improving transport, health, water distribution and education infrastructure.
Presenting the Rs 48,000 crore budget, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said that Delhi's contribution to India's GDP has increased from 3.94 per cent in 2011-12 to 4.08 per cent in 2016-17. The size of the budget for 2017-18 is Rs 48,000 crore.
He also said that the economy of the state will grow ‘despite demonetisation’. At the same time, he said note ban has led to contraction in the city's estimated GSDP for the ongoing financial year (at constant prices) although it will still be higher than the projected growth at the national level. At current prices, the national capital's economic growth has been pegged at 12.76 per cent.
Here are the key points of the budget:
1. Eyeing the municipal polls, the government has earmarked a record Rs 7,571 crore for the civic bodies, which comes to about 15 per cent of the total allocation.
2. The government allotted Rs 11,300 crore for education, about 24 per cent of the total Budget, to the education sector. Last year's allocation was Rs 10,690 crore.
3. An outlay of Rs 5,736 crore has been made for the health sector -- 9 per cent more than the last fiscal's.
4. Government has also announced to double the hospital-bed strength to 20,000 and expanding Mohalla Clinics.
5. Rs 1,156 crore has been set aside for the phase four of the Delhi Metro while Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for developing bus terminals and depots.
6. VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel will be brought down from 25 per cent to 1 per cent for flights to remote areas such as North Eastern states to compliment Centre's regional connectivity scheme.
7. Government will continue to give subsidy to battery-operated vehicles as part of efforts to promote eco-friendly public transport system.
8. Rs 2,100 crore has been allocated for the water sector and cleaning of Yamuna while Rs 3,100 crore has been earmarked for Urban Development.
9. The budget of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has been increased by three times with a total allocation of Rs 20 crore.
10. The power sector has been given an allocation of Rs 2,194 crore. Special emphasis will be on developing solar energy and waste-to-energy plants.
11. Rs 57 crore has been set aside for the environment department which spearheads the anti-pollution initiative in the city.
12. The government has abolished the plan and non-plan expenditure heads and presented it in terms of revenue and capital classification in line with the Centre's decision. There was no proposal on levying any new tax.
13. To promote the national capital as a destination for film shooting, the government has proposed introduction of a single window clearance mechanism for completion of all formalities under one roof.
14. While sanitary napkins costing Rs 20 have been made tax free, those priced above will attract a reduced tax of 5 per cent.