Manish Sisodia, Delhi finance minister offered the budget for 2017-2018 in the Delhi assembly on 8th March. Presenting a conclusion budget to augment accountability, the AAP government got relieved of the plan and non plan components. The Deputy CM alleged that there will be quarterly checking of the outcome to guarantee performance like a contractual agreement between the government and its department . Whereas many experts have lauded this year’s budget proposals, opposition’s leaders have called it a soggy squib and ‘disappointing’. Mentioned below are the details regarding what the Aam Adami party government at Delhi got right and what is missed.
Furthering civil Aviation ministry’s proposal with a plan to incentivize airlines for flying to remote locations, the AAP government in Delhi in its budget proposal proclaimed a cut in the VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel i.e. ATF from the recent 25 percent to one percent for flights bound for remote areas. at the same time as presenting the 2017-18 Delhi budget, Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM informed about a cut in VAT on ATF will be relevant for direct flights between Delhi and other remote locations which have been identified beneath the regional connectivity Scheme i.e. RCS according to approved conditions.
The prior month the aviation ministry requested for a cut in the levy on jet fuel for flights underneath the new scheme that comprises more than 40 percent of an airline’s operating costs. The central government had then asked the state governments to decline VAT to one percent on jet fuel for regional flights. Captivatingly there are no RCS flights touching Delhi as of now, so how much revenue loss could be there remains to be seen. Though experts have approved of what Sisodia alleged that the move will help people from the northeastern parts of the country and other remote areas.
No new tax was commenced or hike affected inaccessible tax rates by AAP government in its 48000 Rs crore budget for 2017-18 which lays main focus on healthcare, education, transport, and social sectors. In its third budget, the Kejriwal government abolished the plan and non plan expenditure heads and presented it in terms of revenue and capital categorization in line with the Centre’s decision. Sisodia alleged that this was the primary outcome budget of Delhi and that there will be quarterly monitoring of the outcome to guarantee performance. Due to no new tax move, there will be a reduced tax on sanitary napkins, plywood, granite and laminates.
Education accounted for 24 percent of the total budget which is a massive step. The Kejriwal-led government had declared a total expenditure of 11300 crore rupees on education for the year and it comprises the revenue budget of 10186 crore rupees and a capital budget of 1114 crore rupees. Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM alleged that ‘education is the most precedence sector for our government. We have succeeded in creating huge infrastructure in the form of building of new schools, sports grounds, new classrooms, clean toilet facilities’. Sisodia also announced that the midday meal scheme will be extended to girl students from classes 9th to 12th. His budget also projected the setting up of early childhood centers, in addition, the installation of computer labs and libraries at government schools.
On the list of priorities for the AAP government came the Health sector. As per the proposal, it expected an allocation of 5736 crore Rs. This figure is approximately 12 percent of the entire budget expenditure. With the allocated fund Kejriwal government wants to build up the three tier system of mohalla clinics, multi-specialty and super multi specialty hospitals in Delhi.
Opposition parties have banged the Delhi budget for 2017 -18 as ‘disappointing ‘and ‘anti-development ‘. They alleged that there was a large breach between what the AAP had promised all through the elections and its budgetary allotments free wifi was a main poll promise of Aam Adami party. It did not receive much attention I the Delhi Budget. In 2016 June the AAP government had declared that more than 500 places around east Delhi would be made elevated speed wifi zones by the end of the year. It was promised that people will be permitted access to free internet till a limit per day. It was one of the most accepted election campaign promises of the Aam Adami Party.
In the meantime, CM Arvind Kejriwal informed reporters that his government was functioning on a few models of free wifi and the decision to execute them will be taken soon. He said that one of the models has the provision of laying fiber cables while another one favors installation of hotspots. He added that government wants to evade making mistakes in choosing in the midst of these models as it is not a simple task to offer free wifi across the city.
Mohalla clinic is another one of the essential poll promise of AAP government in Delhi . in 2016 the AAP government had owed 350 crore Rs mohalla sabhas aimed at nabbing locals to have a say on what civic projects are commenced their area. Meanwhile, Manish Sisodia alleged that ‘the file was pending with LG office all through the tenure of previous LG Najeeb Jung for around six months due to which the government could spend allotted funds on mohalla sabhas. With fresh LG assuming office we hope that mohalla sabha file will be cleared quickly.
Yogendra Yadav’s Swaraj India has alleged that Manish Sisodia’s speech had borrowed the words and practice of Jaitley’s and Chidambaram’s budget speeches and obfuscated more than it exposed. The party ‘the budget speech was a choosy presentation of favorable statistics, stressing trivial but admired schemes and burying the significant figures’. According to BJP in the budget 2017-18 presented right prior to the civic body elections, no provision has been made nor there is any indication of accomplishment of the proposals of the fourth Delhi finance commission. This basically means that the financial condition of the civic bodies will not get better.