The Arvind Kejriwal-led government on 25 June presented its maiden budget for the 2015-16 financial year in the Delhi Assembly.
Presenting the budget, deputy chief minister and finance minister Manish Sisodia saidthe proposed expenditure plan for 2015-16 is Rs 41,129 crore with a plan outlay of Rs 19,000 crore and non-plan outlay of Rs 22,129 crore. Compared to last year, this is an 18% rise in the state’s budget.
He said the government took into account the expectations of the people of the city, while preparing this budget. This is a budget for ‘aam aadmi’.” As many as 1,500 suggestions were taken into consideration before framing the state budget so that financial allocation was based on their requirements.
The AAP government had attempted to check prices in the state and taken steps against hoarding, he said, while proposing Rs 1690 crore for power and water subsidy and establishing a ‘Swaraj Fund’ with corpus fund of Rs 253 crore.
All colleges and villages in Delhi to get free Wi-Fi with an allocation of Rs 50 crore, says Sisodia. In the first phase, the facility will be implemented in schools and colleges and towards this end a fund of Rs 50 crore is proposed.
Budget allocation for education has been increased hiked more than 106% to Rs 9,836 crore, said Sisodia. Steps would be taken to get a new skill development university in Delhi, he said. This hike is probably a first in the country, which indicates the government’s commitment to education. It is not expenditure, but investment,” Sisodia said.
At least 20,000 new teachers to be roped in, says Sisodia. “We will convert 50 schools into model schools and would install CCTV cameras in all classrooms in schools across Delhi. We aim at 100% literacy in Delhi in the next two years,. We aim at 100% literacy in Delhi in the next two years,” said Sisodia.
As much as 12% of the budget allocation will be given back to the Centre against the loans taken in the past, he said.
Apart from giving Rs 5,908 crore to local civic bodies, he said, The government has taken strong action against hoarding and black marketing.
Sisodia allocated Rs 1,084 crore to Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for improvement of road transport services and said that the government has collected tax worth Rs 26,604 crore this fiscal. The per capita income too is more than the national average, he added.
Earlier, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal extended his best wishes to Sisodia. “Manish presents his first budget on 25 June. Aam Admi Party’s budget. I am sure he will meet aam admi’s expectations. My best wishes,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Stating that the government would make Delhi the country’s first corruption free state, Sisodia said, “We also plan to build safe storage houses for onions and other essential food items.”
Taking a dig at the Centre, Sisodia read out out a couplet, “Na rehber se mile, na rehguzar se milega, yeh toh hamaare paaon ka kaanta hai, yeh hamin se niklega.”
The budget session of Delhi Assembly began on June 23 and will conclude on June 30. Two to three bills are likely to be tabled in the assembly during the eight-day budget session.