NEW DELHI: Amid the citywide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday presented the Delhi budget, themed majorly on the ‘Kejriwal model of governance’.The total outlay announced in the budget was Rs 65,000 crore, 8.33 per cent more than the one presented for the previous financial year.
Going into the Assembly elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had promised to fulfill ’10 guarantees’ to the people, if elected for the third time. Armed with an overwhelming mandate, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has now planned to take the ‘Kejriwal model of governance’ or ‘Kaam Ki Rajneeti’ (politics of work) outside the precincts of the national capital.And, in a statement of intent, the government set aside the biggest chunk of its budget, 24,33 per cent to be precise, on education. A focus area of the previous AAP government, the strides made in boosting public education in the city is believed to have contributed significantly to bringing it back to power.
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Seeking to break further ground in this sphere, the deputy CM proposed to set up Delhi’s own state board for education. He also announced construction of 17 new school buildings in the city at a cost of Rs 175 crore in the next financial year. The health sector, which proved to be a major vote catcher for the ruling party, also received further boost with the infusion of Rs 7,704 in the next fiscal. An additional outlay of Rs 50 crore was also announced to fight coronavirus.
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The government also announced allocation of Rs 2,520 crore for the housing and social security sectors, with the focus clearly on providing more fiscal benefits to senior citizens, women in distress and differently abled. It also proposed to launch a first-of-its-kind awareness campaign to bring about ‘behavioural change for the safety of women’.Pledging funds for development work in unauthorised colonies in the Capital, Sisodia proposed a ‘Chief Minister Local Area Development’ scheme with an outlay of Rs 400 crore.
‘Directionless & disappointing’
The BJP’s Delhi unit termed the budget presented on Monday as “diectionless and disappointing”. “The budget is directionless, disappointing and juggling with statistics. Like last year, this time too, the AAP government has shown only dreams to the people of Delhi.”