NEW DELHI: Keeping in mind the financial burden on its coffers, the Delhi government has passed an order stating that last changes made to regulate powers of the finance department over all other departments will continue for another month.
“The matter has been further examined in the light of the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on the economic conditions and it is informed that these orders are further extended for one month i.e. till 31/10/2020” read the order of the finance department.
The coronavirus-triggered lockdown has put an immense strain on the public exchequer. As per sources, in the last five months, the revenue of Delhi government has dipped considerably. This has forced the Aam Aadmi Party government to impose restrictions on the powers of the departments to spend the budget and also to direct most of their revenues towards fighting the pandemic.
As per the fresh order, except in few cases, approval from finance department before sanctioning work, by all departments, is mandatory. The Arvind Kejriwal government has also suspended the MLALAD funds to utilise for government’s exchequer to fight the pandemic. Since ‘Unlock-1’, CM Arvind Kejriwal also has on many occasions raised the issue of loss of revenue of his government.
The Delhi government has also constituted a three-member committee to suggest measures to augment revenue from excise duty and ways to simplify liquor pricing as well as boost the hotel and restaurant industry of the city. In addition, there is a 12-member expert committee formulated under the Dialogue and Development Commission, in July this year, which will explore economic reform measures to help businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19. The target of this committee is to reform measures to improve ease of doing business.
SWD initiates budget preparations
Various departments of the Delhi government are set to begin preparations for revised budget estimates for the current financial year. The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has already issued directions to officers to submit proposals for budget estimates by October 6.