NEW DELHI: With an eye on forming government in Delhi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday presented a Budget full of sops for Delhi voters -- from new women’s hostels to a `36,776 crore outlay for resolving water and power crisis.
The power subsidy of `260 crore announced in the Budget was the giveaway that the BJP-led NDA Government was aiming to woo the electorate here. The power subsidy was one of the biggest poll promise of the BJP in Delhi. The Finance Minister’s Budget proposals on power subsidy came against the backdrop of a revision of tariff announced by the regulator the day before.
The Budget had to be presented in the Lok Sabha by Jaitley as Delhi was under President’s Rule.
Both the Congress and AAP slammed the BJP for taking a U-turn on its promise of reducing power tariff by 30 per cent -- a poll promise in run-up to the 2013 Assembly elections in Delhi. The Congress termed the budget “directionless” whereas the AAP stated that the BJP cheated the people of Delhi.
In the Interim Budget presented by the UPA Government, the state was allotted an outlay of `32,732 crore. The central assistance has been kept at `349 crore, which is `682 crore lower than the previous year’s `1,031 crore.
The minister kept the tax rates unchanged for the national capital. “No new taxes have been levied in this budget,” he said.
The budget proposes `260 crore power subsidy for small consumers ranging from `0.80 - `1.20 per unit and construction of three new power stations apart from making Gas Turbine Station at Bawana fully functional. The minister has allotted a plan outlay of `675 crore for the energy sector apart from the `200 crore already sanctioned in Union Budget.
For building roads and upgrading transportation, `3,702 crore has been sanctioned; however, there was no mention of mono-rail in the Budget.
“In order to provide better transport to the commuters, 1,380 semi-low floor buses are required,” the minister stated.
For sanitation and control of pollution in Yamuna River, which is the top most priority of the BJP Government, the minister has proposed funds for four new sewage treatment plants. A total `750 crore has been allotted for ecologically rejuvenating and building sewage treatment plants.
To end the water crisis, a total `1,249.20 crore has been allotted for improvement of water supply. From construction of Renuka Dam to renovating and modernisation of Chandrawal Water Treatment Plant and Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant, the BJP Government want proper water supply in the city.