Delhi budget: AAP govt lays major focus on health, education and transport

New Delhi: A Rs 48,000-crore budget for the national capital was on Wednesday presented by the AAP government, laying major focus on improving transport, health, water distribution and education infrastructure.

In its third Budget, the Arvind Kejriwal government abolished the plan and non-plan expenditure heads and presented it in terms of revenue and capital classification in line with the Centre’s decision.

There was no proposal on levying any new tax. In a first, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the finance portfolio, also presented an “outcome budget” which he said would act like a “contract” between the government and the people.

Sisodia asserted that the economy of the state will grow “despite demonetisation”.

At the same time, he said note ban has led to contraction in the city’s estimated GSDP for the ongoing financial year (at constant prices) although it will still be higher than the projected growth at the national level.

At current prices, the national capital’s economic growth has been pegged at 12.76 per cent.

“When we allocate money for skywalk, merely constructing it would not be counted as success. Its success would depend on how many people actually use it. That in a nutshell explains the objective of the outcome component,” he said.

Eyeing the municipal polls, the government has earmarked a record Rs 7,571 crore for the civic bodies, which comes to about 15 per cent of the total allocation.

The government alloted Rs 11,300 crore for education, about 24 per cent of the total Budget, to the education sector. Last year’s allocation was Rs 10,690 crore.

An outlay of Rs 5,736 crore has been made for the health sector, a priority area for AAP government.

Rs 1,156 crore has been set aside for the phase four of the Delhi Metro while Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for developing bus terminals and depots.

Sisodia said Delhi’s contribution to India’s GDP has increased from 3.94 per cent in 2011-12 to 4.08 per cent in 2016-17. The size of the budget for 2017-18 is Rs 48,000 crore.