Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot on Tuesday (March 21) said the Delhi budget file had been resubmitted to the Union Home Ministry for approval, amid a row between the AAP dispensation and the Centre over the issue.
Addressing the Delhi Assembly, Gahlot said the budget was stalled on Monday (March 20). He said the file has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs physically and through mail for approval.
Delhi, Centre trade charges over various budget allocations
The presentation of the Delhi government’s budget for 2023-24, scheduled for Tuesday March 21), was put on hold, with the Arvind Kejriwal-led government and the central government trading charges over allocations in various heads.
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As the chief minister lashed out at the Centre, sources in the MHA said the ministry has sought clarification from the AAP government as its budget proposal had high allocation for advertisement and relatively low funding for infrastructure and other development initiatives.
The file, after addressing the MHA’s concerns, was sent to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Monday night (March 20), who approved it and sent it back to the government. The government then sent it to the MHA.
Talking about the issue in the Assembly, Gahlot said after the LG’s approval, the file was sent to the finance secretary on Monday night (March 20).
Attempt to stop govt from functioning: Delhi finance minister
“What is the purpose of having an elected CM, cabinet, and ministers if they cannot even pass a budget? It’s an attempt to stop the government from functioning and harass people,” Gahlot alleged.
Following his address, AAP MLAs trooped into the well of the House raising slogans against the stalling of the budget, prompting the Speaker to adjourn the House till 12 noon.
Also read: Centre, AAP trade charges as Kejriwal accuses MHA of stalling Delhi Budget
Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Gahlot said the Delhi government had not received any reply from the home ministry on the budget.
He said the budget would be tabled after approval from the MHA is received.
On allegations of breach of privilege regarding sharing of budget details, he said, “It’s an issue pertaining to the House and the Speaker will take a call on it.”
(With agency inputs)