Budget today,Dikshit likely to focus on development issues

With an eye on the Assembly polls slated for next year,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is likely to focus on social sector and development when she presents the annual budget for the second consecutive time on Monday.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:May 28, 2012 1:14 am

With an eye on the Assembly polls slated for next year,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is likely to focus on social sector and development when she presents the annual budget for the second consecutive time on Monday.

The budget,the second one to be presented by Dikshit,is expected to be a populist one and a bid to regain the Congress’ support base in the wake of the party’s drubbing in the municipal polls. “The focus of the budget is likely to be on social sector development,” said a government official.

Dikshit is expected to announce a cut in Value Added Tax on petrol to provide some relief to the people from the substantial hike in price of the fuel.

With the Congress losing support base in the 1,600-odd unauthorised colonies in the city,which was identified as a major reason for defeat in the municipal polls,the government is expected to set aside substantial amount of financial resources for infrastructure development in these settlements.

The Delhi government issued provisional regularisation certificates (PRCs) to over 1,200 unauthorised colonies ahead of Assembly polls in 2008. The then Dikshit government,while distributing the certificates,had promised to regularise the colonies if Congress came to power for third term.

However,not a single colony has been regularised so far. The process had slowed down considerably last year following allegations that some “non-existent” as well as “ineligible” colonies were given provisional regularisation certificates flouting norms. The government is also likely to set aside funds in the budget for two mega projects — to make 20 km of the Outer Ring road between Wajirabad and Vikaspuri signal-free and extending the Barapullah elevated road to INA Market.

Both these big-ticket road infrastructure projects worth Rs 3,015 crore have already been cleared by the Cabinet last week. The education and transport sectors will also continue to remain focus areas of the government.

The government is also likely to cut subsidy to Delhi Transport Corporation and Delhi Jal Board. The total subsidy bill to both these organisations comes to around Rs 1,000 crore annually.

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