NEW DELHI :
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government on Tuesday presented a budget with an outlay of ₹60,000 crore. This is almost double the outlay of the first budget presented by the government in 2015, which stood at ₹30,940 crore.
The allocation to education continues to be the highest, as in the previous years, with an outlay of 26%.
This is the last full budget presented by deputy chief minister and finance minister Manish Sisodia with assembly elections in the state scheduled to be held in 2020.
The budget, which was presented on the day the Indian Air Force struck terrorist camps in Pakistan, was dedicated to the soldiers who were martyred in the Pulwama attack. Keeping this in view, Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal also postponed his indefinite fast, which was to begin on Friday.
“In view of the prevailing Indo-Pak situation, I am postponing my upwas for full statehood of Delhi. We all stand as one nation today," Kejriwal said on Twitter.
The issue of statehood was a key part of the budget. “The most important work mentioned for Delhi in the manifesto was the grant of full statehood to Delhi. Delhi should have attained full statehood with the 1993 constitutional amendment when the elected government was formed. However, even after 25 years, the people of Delhi remain residents of a state with no statehood. The biggest disadvantage of this arrangement is that the entire administrative system lacks accountability to the public," Sisodia said while presenting the budget.
Sisodia focused on the work done by the government in education, healthcare, transportation, and included a progress report of their manifesto promises. He said that the needs and dreams of Delhi envisioned in the manifesto four years ago have been realized or are close to being realized and work on some of them is to be done in the next year.
“Manish Sisodia presented the last budget of our government today. After four years, the financials that have come forward show the improvement. Before the next election, we have shown what all we have done from the 70 point manifesto we had put before the people. This budget is for everyone and everyone has been taken care of," Kejriwal said after the budget was presented.