Hope civic bodies replicate ‘mohalla sabhas’ model: Sisodia

New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today expressed hope that civic bodies across the country would “replicate” the concept of participatory budgeting through ‘mohalla sabhas’ initiated by the AAP government in the capital.

Addressing a convention of mayors, Sisodia said each colony in Delhi was allocated money according to their needs as they were part of Delhi government’s recent Budget process, which saw the introduction of ‘mohalla sabhas’.

“The AAP-led Delhi government is a strong experiment in fiscal and administrative decentralisation which is a necessary step to ensure empowerment of the common man. We hope that you (mayors) replicate the model of ‘Swaraj Budget’ and ‘Mohalla Sabhas’ that AAP has begun as well,” Sisodia said.

Education, he said, had thus become a “principle priority”, because people wanted to bolster it. It saw the highest allocation in the budget presented for 2015-16.

Sisodia also elucidated experiences from his recent visit to Porto Allegre in Brazil which is widely regarded as the model city on participatory budgeting.

“It is important that citizens are engaged politically, not just as voters, but as empowered members of the community. Their priorities have to become the government’s priorities. Only then will we attain true Swaraj,” he added.

The convention was jointly organised by the Tourism Department and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) which saw the participation of over 40 mayors and elected councillors from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar among others.