Arvind Kejriwal call interim Budget 'final jumla' of BJP government, says it is disappointing for Delhi

New Delhi: Terming the Union Budget the "final jumla" of the Narendra Modi government, AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said it has disappointed the city. The Centre Friday allocated Rs 1,112 crore for Delhi in the Union Budget, while keeping its share in central taxes and duties unchanged.

Kejriwal rued the "stagnant" share of Delhi in central taxes and his party too alleged "step-motherly treatment" by the BJP government at the Centre. "Final jumla of Modi govt: it's interim budget too completely disappoints Delhi. Our share in central taxes remains frozen at Rs 325 crore & nothing earmarked for local bodies. Delhi continues to be on its own financially (sic)," Kejriwal wrote on Twitter.

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Getty images

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Getty images

He also tweeted, "1. Invest heavily in education and health 2. Increase minimum wages and enforce it 3. Give crop prices 1.5 times cost 4. One time farm loan waiver. This would put money in the pocket of poorest, create demand, give a boost to the economy and create jobs. None of it done in the budget." The ruling party in Delhi termed Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal's budget speech an "election speech" of a government hardly four months away from its "departure".

"The BJP government at the Centre has given step-motherly treatment to the people of Delhi. From 2001, the Centre is giving only Rs 325 crore to the Delhi government despite getting lakhs of crores of rupees collected as taxes. As per the Finance Commission recommendation, it should be around Rs 70,000 crore," AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said. The Delhi government has been given Rs 472 crore as central assistance in the interim Budget for 2019-20 presented by Goyal in Parliament. In the previous budget, the Centre had allotted a total of Rs 790 crore. The central assistance to the city government was Rs 499.99 crore.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who heads the finance department of the Delhi government, complained of "nominal increase" in central assistance. In the interim Budget, the share in central taxes of Delhi has not been increased from Rs 325 crore which is stagnant since 2001-02, he said in a statement. "The Delhi government deserves its legitimate share in central taxes to finance various developmental projects. We had requested the Government of India a number of times to enhance the allocation to at least Rs 6,000 crore as share in central taxes as against Rs 325 crore being released to Delhi," Sisodia said.

The budget of Delhi has increased from Rs 8,739 crore in the year 2001-02 to Rs 53,000 crore in 2018-19, whereas the share in central taxes has remained frozen at Rs 325 crore since 2001-02, he said. The Delhi deputy chief minister also claimed the Centre has not allocated any funds to the local bodies in Delhi though it was requested for by the Kejriwal government.

"No funds have been earmarked to local bodies in Delhi although we had requested for allocation of at least Rs 1,000 crore as basic and performance grants to them in 2018-19 (revised estimates) and Rs 1150 crore in 2019-20 (budget estimates)."

Sisodia said, the Delhi government had requested the Centre to enhance the normal central assistance to Rs 1,500 crore in 2019-20, but it has declined by two percentage points, although the expenditure of the government on its schemes has increased to Rs 22,000 crore. "We had requested (the Centre) to increase the normal central assistance to at least Rs 1,300 crore in the current year revised estimate and Rs 1,500 crore in 2019-20 budgetary estimates. However, an amount of Rs 472 crore as additional central assistance has been proposed in 2019-20 as against Rs 450 crore in the current year," he said.

An amount of Rs 10 crore each has been proposed under 2018-19 (RE) and 2019-20 (BE) as reimbursement of compensation to 1984 riot victims to Delhi government, the deputy chief minister said. The Rs 5 crore proposed for the Delhi government as an assistance for the Delhi Disaster Response Fund is "negligible", he said. The figure of Rs 1,112 crore shown in 2019-20 (Budget Estimates) is mainly due to a loan taken from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the externally aided project for a water treatment plant at Chandrawal. However, on all other parameters, it is more or less at the same level, Sisodia added.

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Updated Date: Feb 01, 2019 21:16:02 IST

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