"Another daughter was brutally murdered in Delhi. It is very sad. Law and order has become such a pressing issue in Delhi. I request L-G and Home Minister to proactively engage the police force," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote in a tweet, referring to the brutal incident.
The Delhi Budget, 2023-24, presented in the Assembly on Wednesday, is focussed on enhancing the National Capital’s infrastructure, sanitation and transportation facilities besides health and education.
A day after the Union Ministry of Home Affairs approved the budget for the National Capital, Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot presented Rs 78,800-crore budget in the Assembly on Wednesday for the financial year 2023-24.
It is the first budget for Kailash Gahlot, and ninth consecutive budget for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Speaking in the Assembly, Gahlot said this year’s budget with a huge outlay for capital expenditure of over Rs 21,000 crore towards infrastructure projects presents a clear and a comprehensive plan to transform Delhi into a ‘clean, beautiful and modern city’ that every Indian can take pride in.
“The total expenditure of the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi during 2014-15 before our government came to power was Rs 30,940 crore. Our government presented the first full budget in June 2015 with an estimated budget of Rs 41,129 crore,” the Delhi Finance Minister said.
“It is with great pleasure that I propose a budget of Rs 78,800 crore for the year 2023-24,” he said.
This is almost two and a half times the expenditure of Rs 30,940 crore in the year 2014-15, and 8.69 per cent higher than the revised estimates for 2022-23, the Delhi finance minister said.
Significantly, the Budget Estimate of Rs 78,800 crore for 2023-24 includes Rs 56,983 crore under Revenue expenditure and an outlay of Rs 21,817 crore under Capital expenditure, he said.
He said the share of capital expenditure as part of the overall budget has also risen to 27.68 per cent in this year’s budget. The capital expenditure of Rs 21,817 crore is almost three times the capital outlay of Rs 7,430 crore in 2014-15.
In the budget of Rs 78,800 crore, Rs 35,100 crore is for establishment and other committed expenditure and Rs 43,700 crore is for schemes/programmes and projects.
In his opening remarks while presenting the budget in the House, Gahlot said, “I would have been happier if Manish Sisodia had presented the budget. He is my elder brother. I am sure the best wishes of children all over the world are with Manish Sisodia. This is the ninth budget of the Delhi government and the first budget for me.”
Out of the total proposed outlay, the Delhi government has earmarked Rs 16,575 crore for education in the financial year 2023-24.
The Delhi finance minister said 350 Delhi government schools will get 20 computers each and all teachers, principals, vice-principals will be given tablets.
The budget for the financial year 2022-23 was Rs 75,800 crore higher than the Rs 69,000 crore for the previous year.
The minister said that the budget is dedicated to a “beautiful and modern” Delhi. Gahlot also announced an allocation of about Rs 19,400 crore for revamping roads in the coming 10 years.
He further proposed Rs 9,742 crore for the health sector in the financial year.
Gahlot announced 100 more Mahila Mohalla clinics to be developed in Delhi from the present four.
He said that the free medical tests will be increased from 200 to 450 which will be available in polytechnics, dispensaries, and hospitals along with the mohalla clinics.
Gahlot announced that nine new hospitals will be built and four hospitals will be operational from this year. The number of hospital beds will be increased from 14,000 to 30,000 in the city.
Gahlot further allocated Rs 9,333 crore for the transport sector. Free bus rides for women will continue. The government will introduce 1,500 e-scooters for last-mile connectivity. The App-based premium bus aggregator scheme will be launched soon.
Mukhyamantri Teertha Yatra Yojana and kanwad camp also will continue, he said.
Delhi government has allocated Rs 4,744 crore budget for social security with a proposal of Rs 200 crore for pension.
He said the government has invested in providing modern and world class public transport for the public of Delhi.
“The network of Delhi Metro doubled between 2015-23. Today, the number of buses has increased to 7,379, which is the highest. Today the government has made Delhi a city of Tricolours. The budget is important for Delhi as we are hosting the G20. So this budget is dedicated to a clean, beautiful and modern Delhi,” said the Delhi Finance Minister.
“The Delhi model is a guarantee that they will get free water and electricity during such times of inflation,” he said.
While tabling the annual budget, he said the government is committed to solve the problem of the three garbage mounds in Delhi with the MCD.
He lauded the Delhi model of governance, and said the Kejriwal government has shown zero tolerance for corruption.
Gahlot said that the national capital was now turned into the ‘city of Tricolours’ under the government’s 2021-22 Deshbhakti budget’.
Gahlot announced that the local bodies will be given financial assistance of Rs 8,241 crore in the financial year 2023-24.
He proposed Rs 722 crore for new flyover projects and Rs 320 crore for the double-decker flyover in the city.
Tabling the comprehensive plan for the city’s infrastructure, Gahlot announced that the 1,400 km PWD road will be upgraded and beautified in this financial year. Along with this, 26 new flyovers and underpasses will be constructed.
He also announced three unique double-decker flyovers in cooperation with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
In his budget, Gahlot said that 1,600 electric buses will be inducted in the financial year. Along with the beautification upgrading ISBT to the world-class level, he announced nine new bus depots.
“Delhi will have the highest number of electric buses in the country. A fleet of 10,400 buses by the end of 2025 with 80 per cent electric buses which will reduce 4,60,000 ton emission.
“The Mohalla Bus Yojana will be rolled out for the dedicated last mile connectivity with nine-metre pollution free electric buses,” Gahlot said.
The Delhi Finance Minister also announced a six-point action plan for the River Yamuna.
Gahlot assured the House that all the three landfill sites of garbage will be cleared in the next two years.
“Working with th MCD, all three landfills sites will be demolished within two years. Okhla landfill site will be removed by December 2023, Bhalsua landfill by March 2024, and Ghazipur landfill by December 2024,” Gahlot said, proposing Rs 850 crore loan to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for clearing up of landfills.