NEW DELHI: Wrapped in high aspirations with a rich spread of nationalism, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi presented its economic roadmap for the future on Tuesday. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia presented the Rs 69,000-crore ‘Deshbhakti Budget’ marking the 75th year of India’s Independence. The government also set an ambitious target of matching Singapore in terms of per capita income by 2047. “For that, we have to increase the per capita income by 16 per cent and we will do whatever it takes to achieve that,” CM Kejriwal asserted.
According to latest Economic Survey tabled in the assembly on Monday, Delhi’s per capita income has fallen by 5.91 per cent to Rs 3,54,004 during 2020-21, as compared to Rs 3,76,221 in 2019-20. In 2019, the GDP per capita in Singapore was around $65,233.88 (Rs 47.52 lakh approx). Like previous years, education and health remained the priority of the Aam Aadmi Party government. Sisodia said a hundred specialised schools of excellence will be opened across Delhi.
An allocation of Rs 16,377 crore one-fourth of the total budget will be allocated towards education. The government, he said, would continue with its popular free water, electricity, education and health schemes. The government did not introduce any fresh burden on the people, neither did it reduce the current strain on the pocket of the ‘aam aadmi’ (common man). Sisodia said the current budget will not only celebrate patriotism but will also lay the foundation for the next 25 years.
“On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of our Independence, the coming year will be filled with an atmosphere of patriotism and national pride. >From March 12 onwards, Delhi will witness grand celebrations and the whole city will be filled with a sense of patriotism and national pride,” said Sisodia. The government plans to put up large Tricolours at 500 places.
The government’s 25-year roadmap also included aspiring for hosting the Olympic Games. In a step to make Delhi a global city, Sisodia promised that his government will develop a robust sports infrastructure so that it is able to host Olympics in 2048. Moving away from tradition, Sisodia, who is also the finance minister, read out the more than 12,000-word-long budget on an electronic tab rather than a paper- based file. The Rs 69,000-crore budget is 6.15 per cent higher over the business estimate of Rs 65,000 crore in 2020-21. While the finance minister said the government is in budget surplus like previous years, sources of revenue decreased by nearly 40 per cent due to Covid- 19.
The budget also promises free vaccines in all government hospitals for city residents. The government will launch a fresh initiative of 100 ‘Woman Mohalla Clinics’ and offer health cards to all residents where all their health history data will be available for easy access. Learning from Covid-19, the government has decided to have a first-of-its-kind ‘Virtual Model School’ for teaching online. It will also revamp the course structure of students till class eight.
ANNUAL SAVINGS & CUMULATIVE GOAL
The budget aims to enhance the per capital income in Delhi to match that in Singapore by 2047. The government says it could be possible through savings made by each family per annum because of the free schemes of the AAP government. The government, claims each family is saving about Rs 30K per year.