Delhi government’s first-ever outcome budget focuses on health and education

Hardnews Bureau

In order to increase connectivity between Delhi and north eastern states, tax on air turbine fuel has been lowered from 25 percent to 1 percent

 

For the first time in the Delhi Assembly, the AAP-led state government presented an outcome budget on Tuesday which will focus on affixing accountability on the part of departments in the implementation of the budget allocations. Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Finance Manish Sisodia said, “Outcome budget will be a contractual agreement between the government and different departments.” Delhi, which is among the fastest growing states in the country, is estimated to grow at 12.76 per cent in 2016-17 over 2015-16. The state government has once again given top priority to education and health in its budget, allocating a total of Rs 17,036 crore in FY 2017-18. The budget estimate for FY 2017-18 is Rs 48,000 crore.

Despite the failure of the state government to achieve its budgetary goal of Rs 24,000 crore in 2016-17, the finance minister did not levy any new tax in the budget. Calling it a tax-free budget, Sisodia said, “This is not just a tax-free budget but we have also reversed the taxes for the third consecutive time.” Meanwhile, in order to increase connectivity between Delhi and north eastern states, tax on air turbine fuel has been lowered from 25 percent to 1 percent.

With the municipal elections in Delhi drawing close, the government also tried to woo voters through its third full-time budget by allocating Rs 7,531 crore to municipal corporations—nearly 15 percent of the budget—for development of civic amenities. It includes Rs 1,718 crore for improving the status of urban sector, health and education. In a bid to attract the purvanchali voter base in the city, the government also announced construction of chhath ghats and allocated Rs 20 crore for the task. The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) received Rs 20 crore—an amount three times higher than what it received in the last budget.

During his budget speech, Sisodia without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a jibe at his decision to demonetise higher value notes in November last year. The minister said, “The decision of notebandi was taken by tossing a coin in the air without any brainstorming over the matter, unlike us.”

While Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal praised the budget, Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken took to twitter to ask a series of questions from the government. In one of his tweets, Maken said, “You wrongly claim to have done wonders in education-- tell us why 10th board exam result slipped from 98.40% to 91% (worst in recent times).”  

 

Here are the highlights of the 2017-18 budget:

Education

 

  • Rs 11,300 crore, nearly 24 percent of the budget, allocated to education
  • Delhi first state to allocate over 20 percent budget share to education in India
  • 10,000 new classrooms to be developed
  • 156 government schools to start admission in nursery and kindergarten
  • 10 Early Childhood Learning Centres to be developed for pre-school learning
  • Every government school will get Commerce stream
  • Rs 182 crore allocated for developing computer labs in government schools
  • 400 new libraries to be built in schools
  • 2 new District Education and Training Institutions to be established
  • Every school teacher to get a computer tablet for maintenance of records
  • 4 new campuses of Ambedkar University to be constructed by 2022
  • New campus of GB Pant Engineering College to be developed
  • Teacher training institution at Ambedkar University

Health

  • Rs 5,736 crore allocated to health in FY 2017-18
  • 1,000 Mohalla clinics to be set up by the end of 2017-18
  • 15,000 new beds to be added to government hospitals
  • 5 drug rehabilitation centres to be developed in Delhi

Transport

  • Rs 4,506 crore allocated to transport in FY 2017-18
  • Rs 100 crore allocated for developing new bus terminals and depots
  • 10,000 new auto permits to be issued
  • Rs 1,156 crore earmarked for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)
  • 582 additional coaches to be added in metro
  • Rs 54.84 crore for development of skywalk and footover bridges at ITO
  • 736 new buses to be added under cluster scheme

Water

  • Rs 2,108 crore allocated for development of water network and services
  • All authorised and unauthorised colonies to be connected by water pipeline by the end of 2017
  • 20 KL of free water to be provided every month
  • 3 new interceptors for treatment of Yamuna water and for controlling the mixing of waste

Energy

  • Rs 2,194 crore allocated to energy
  • 1,000 MW to be generated by solar photovoltaic power plants in next five years
  • 2,000 MW energy to be produced by solar photovoltaic plants by 2025
  • Solid waste treatment plants to come up in Okhla, Ghazipur and Wazirabad

Environment

  • 20 new air pollution monitoring centers to come up in Delhi
  • Subsidy to battery operated vehicles
  • Increase in forest cover in 2016-17 by nearly 1 percent
  • First bird reserve to be developed in Rajokri

Tourism

  • Rs 119 crore issued to tourism for FY 2017-18
  • Tourism policy and master plan to be formulated
  • Single window system for providing permission for shooting to film makers
  • 5-km-long ecological riverfront to be developed on the banks of Yamuna river