New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Friday presented Delhi's Rs.36,776 crore budget for fiscal 2014-15 in parliament, proposing a new specialty hospital and 100 ambulances for accident victims, while keeping tax rates unchanged.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) dismissed the budget as “betrayal” of the people of Delhi, saying that BJP cannot be credited with not introducing fresh taxes as under President's rule, no new tax is levied when the budget is presented in parliament.
The Congress called the budget as “directionless.”
The budget also proposes Rs.260 crore power subsidy for small consumers, ranging from Rs.0.80-Rs.1.20 per unit, four new sewage treatment plants, 50 dialysis centres and Rs.2,400 crore for education.
Of the total outlay, the maximum amount - Rs.3,702 crore - was set aside for the transport sector which was followed by the allocation of Rs.2,724 crore for the health sector.
The task, normally carried out in the assembly, had to be taken up by the union finance minister as the state is under president's rule.
Jaitley said the city-state will also get community toilets for slum dwellers, more night shelters and low-floor buses.
“No new taxes have been levied in this budget,” he said.
Turning to specific proposals, he said: “Considering the increased number of accident and trauma cases, 110 mobile ambulances will be deployed.”
In the interim budget presented by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the state was allotted an outlay of Rs.32,732 crore. The central assistance has been kept at Rs.349 crore, which is Rs.682 crore lower than the previous year's Rs.1,031 crore.
In the budget presented Friday, Rs.1,249.20 crore was sanctioned for the water sector.
The finance minister's budget proposals on power subsidy come against the backdrop of a revision of tariff announced by the regulator the day before.
It allowed tariff hike of 15 paise on consumption between 201 and 400 units, 50 paise between 401 units and 800 units, Rs.1.10 between 801 and 1,200 units and Rs.1.75 for consumption beyond 1,201 units.
At the same time, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission scrapped a levy imposed on consumers, called the power purchase adjustment cost (PPAC) fixed at 6-8 percent for all consumers, to bring down the actual tariff for small consumers.
For housing and urban development sector, Delhi has been allotted Rs.2,154 crore out of which Rs.711 crore has been earmarked for essential services like piped water and sewerage system in unauthorised colonies.
Jaitley also announced to double the allocation for constructing toilets from Rs.17 crore in 2013-14 to Rs.35 crore in 2014-15.A
Attacking the budget, the AAP said: “A desperate BJP is trying to wrongly portray that the central government has not levied any new tax”.
“The fact is that it is a well settled tradition that in any state which is under President's rule, no new fresh tax is levied when the budget is presented in parliament, in keeping with the spirit of Article 265 of the constitution. Therefore, the BJP cannot claim credit for what it has not done,” said a party statement.
It also slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party for taking a “U-turn” on its promise of reducing power tariff by 30 percent—a poll promise in run-up to the 2013 assembly elections in Delhi.
“BJP promised 30% redn (reduction) in tariff. They didn't do it. Why this U-turn? BJP has made a U-turn on almost all poll promises...,” AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.