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Business News/ Economy / Arvind Kejriwal government's budget likely on March 4. Here is what to expect
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Arvind Kejriwal government's budget likely on March 4. Here is what to expect

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government is expected to focus on health, education and infra in the ₹80,000+ crore budget coming ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections

Atishi, MLA from Kalkaji seat, is the Finance Minister in Arvind Kejriwal cabinet in Delhi government (file photo),Premium
Atishi, MLA from Kalkaji seat, is the Finance Minister in Arvind Kejriwal cabinet in Delhi government (file photo),

Delhi’s Finance Minister, Atishi, will table the Delhi Economic Survey (2023-2024) and Outcome Budget in the Assembly on March 1.

Atishi is also likely to present the budget for the 2024-25 financial year next week on March 4, according to sources. This will be Atishi’s first budget as Delhi’s Finance Minister after she was inducted into Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s cabinet in March last year.

The budget session of the Delhi assembly began on February 15 and was expected to run until February 21. The session was, however, extended to the first week of March, with Atishi citing a delay in budget finalisation.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi is expected to make announcements on the 80,000+ crore budget for residents, as 2024 is an election year. Sources said the focus will be on education, health, power and roads, among other sectors.

Also Read: Delhi’s per capita income rises over 14% to more than 4.4 lakh, ‘highest in India’: Report

Last year, the budget was presented by Kailash Gahlot, a minister in Kejriwal’s cabinet, following the arrest of former Finance Minister, Manish Sisodia, in the excise policy case. Based on the theme of ‘Clean, Beautiful, and Modern’ Delhi, the budget amounted to 78,800 crore with a provision of 21,000 crore for Delhi’s infrastructure.

Healthcare

Arvind Kejriwal’s government’s key focus area has been healthcare. Last year, the government allocated 9,742 crore for this sector. This time, the budget is expected to see an increased outlay on infrastructure building of hospitals and for under-construction projects.

In 2023-24, the government announced the remodelling of 15 hospitals and increased the bed count to 30,000 from an existing 14,000. The department grabbed headlines for the wrong reasons during the alleged scams in Mohalla clinics.

Health sector experts say the government should strengthen existing infrastructure rather than announce new facilities.

Education

Education, especially in public schools, is another focus area of the government, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently praising what he calls the Delhi Model of Schools.

Allocations in the 2023-24 budget included 16,575 crore for education. Some of the expectations from Atishi’s budget are new schools and more hiring of principals and teachers, among others. Atishi was an advisor to Manish Sisodia, who was also the Education Minister until he was arrested a year ago.

Also Read: Delhi ranks third in terms of per capita income: Eco Survey of Delhi

In last year’s budget, the then Finance Minister, Kailash Gahlot, had announced that government schools and teachers would be given new tablets.

Environment

Atishi is expected to make some announcements regarding government policies on curbing air pollution, a perennial issue in the national capital, especially during winter months. The government is also expected to increase incentives offered to people for buying electric vehicles in Delhi. More initiatives for the set up of more charging stations in the national capital are also expected.

The Delhi government provides multiple subsidies on the purchase of electric vehicles, road tax waivers and purchase incentives of up to 30,000 for two-wheelers. Over 10 per cent of cars sold in Delhi run on electric engines.

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Published: 01 Mar 2024, 11:18 AM IST
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