Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot on Wednesday presented a Rs 78,800-crore budget in the assembly for the financial year 2023-24 with the announcement of nine schemes as part of the G-20 preparations.
The Delhi government’s budget size for 2022-23 was Rs 75,800 crore and Rs 69,000 crore in the preceding year.
This was the first time that Gahlot presented the budget after taking charge of the finance department following the resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam case.
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“I would have been happier if this budget was presented by Manish Sisodia who is like my elder brother. The budget is an expression of expectations and aspirations of the people,” Gahlot said in his budget speech.
The minister said the budget is dedicated to a clean, beautiful and modern Delhi with Rs 19,466 crore to be spent on upgradation of 1,400 kilometres of roads in the next 10 years. The government has allocated Rs 2,034 crore for 2023-24 for various infrastructure projects.
This is the ninth consecutive budget of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
Removing garbage landfills
“Every possible help will be given to the MCD to remove the three mountains of garbage in Delhi. We will connect all colonies to the sewer network. Increase capacities of sewage treatment plants to clean Yamuna river,” he said.
He said a loan of Rs 850 crore has been earmarked for the AAP-run Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for the removal of mountains of garbage.
The minister informed that the government plans to remove the Okhla landfill by December 2023, the Bhalswa landfill by March 2024 and the Ghazipur landfill by December 2024.
“Delhi government targets the removal of all three mountains of garbage in Delhi in just two years. Okhla landfill to be removed by December 2023, Bhalswa landfill by March 2024 and Ghazipur landfill by December 2024. Rs 850 crore loan will be given to the MCD for removal of mountains of garbage,” Gahlot said.
He announced that local bodies will be given financial assistance of Rs 8,241 crore in financial year 2023-24.
Addressing the assembly, the minister said that the budget has nine schemes as part of G-20 summit preparations.
The government will undertake upgradation and beautification of road network, construction of 26 flyovers, three double-decker flyovers in collaboration with DMRC, include 1,600 e-buses, carry out electrification of bus depots, construct world class ISBTs and work to remove landfill sites and clean Yamuna.
Out of 26 flyover projects, 10 are in construction stage while plans for 11 have been sent to UTTIPEC for clearance.
Water supply & sanitation
Rs 6,343 crore will be set aside for water supply and sanitation, Gahlot said adding, Kejriwal government will set up 1,000 RO plants in JJ clusters, unauthorised colonies, water-deficit areas in 2023-24.
Gahlot announced that water availability in Delhi will be increased from 995 million gallons a day to 1,240 MGD by March 2025.
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He said that 77,000 elderly pilgrims benefited under Delhi govts free pilgrimage scheme, adding that scheme will continue in 2023-24.
Gahlot also rued the fact that despite its huge contribution, Centre has been allocating just Rs 325 crore to Delhi as its share in central taxes.
(With agency inputs)