Delhi bud­get fo­cuses on ed­u­ca­tion, health

The Financial Express - - ECONOMY -

New Delhi, March 28: The Aam Aadmi Party gov­ern­ment on Mon­day pre­sented a “tax-free” bud­get and ra­tio­nalised the VAT struc­ture, which may re­duce the cost of prod­ucts such as ready­made gar­ments, shoes, watches and elec­tric and hy­brid ve­hi­cles in the na­tional cap­i­tal.

Deputy chief min­is­ter Man­ish Siso­dia pre­sented a `46,600-crore an­nual bud­get for 2016-17, peg­ging plan out­lay at ` 20,600 crore. Ex­pect­edly, ed­u­ca­tion, health and trans­port sec­tors got the lion’s share of the to­tal al­lo­ca­tion.

The bud­get also pro­posed to pro­vide drink­ing wa­ter to all au­tho­rised and unau­tho­rised colonies by De­cem­ber 2017 through pipe­lines. Siso­dia set aside an amount of ` 676 crore for this.

` 10,690 crore was ear­marked for ed­u­ca­tion, a rise of 8.68% over last year. Of this, ` 4,645 crore is for plan ex­pen­di­ture (23%), highest among all the heads.

“Twenty-one new school build­ings have been con­structed while 8,000 new class­rooms are be­ing built. It equals to the in­fra­struc­ture of 200 schools. Ev­ery class­room will have CCTV cam­eras in­stalled for which ` 100 crore has been set aside,” Siso­dia said.

“The gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing tax ar­bi­trage and will at­tempt to keep a uni­form rate with neigh­bour­ing states.

In sev­eral items such as sweets — nam­keen, watches, ready­made gar­ments, lower tax rate in neigh­bour­ing states was caus­ing ero­sion in the same. We have made ef­forts to re­move such im­bal­ances in our VAT struc­ture,” he said.

Elab­o­rat­ing on its three­tier pub­lic health roadmap, the gov­ern­ment al­loted ` 5,250 crore which forms 16% of the to­tal ex­pen­di­ture, against last year’s al­lo­ca­tion of ` 4,787 crore.

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