Electricity bills in 84 per cent of Delhi households may see a decrease immediately, according to the Delhi Budget passed in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
According to the Union government, which presented the Budget, the Delhi Budget provides for better infrastructure, healthcare and education for poor and amenities to make Delhi a ‘world-class city’.
In his reply to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not give any indication about when the President’s rule in the capital would come to an end. “A political solution will have to be found to the stalemate with either some party forming the government or fresh elections being held,” Jaitley said.
Since the Congress is without an MP from Delhi, Deepender Hooda from Haryana opened the debate for the Opposition. All seven Delhi MPs of the BJP were given a chance to participate.
Talking about the provisions of the Rs 36,776-crore Delhi Budget, which included Rs 260 crore towards power subsidy, Jaitley said, “Because of provisions in the Union Budget and this (Delhi) budget, 84 per cent households will get lower power bills as compared to the previous month.” In the Union budget, Rs 700 crore has been allocated for power and water reforms.
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Further, Jaitley said the capital’s recent power problems were a result of weak distribution infrastructure as availability of power was sufficient. There has been no investment in the distribution infrastructure in the last few years and it “cracked up”, he said.
Elaborating on other provisions in the Delhi budget, Jaitley said the proposals included introduction of 1,380 low-floor and 400 cluster buses, cleaning of the Yamuna, higher pension for over 4.3 lakh aged persons and more schools and hospitals.
The Union Minister said allocations had also been made to provide housing for the Economically Weaker Sections, improvement of water and sewage facilities and adding 1,400 more beds in hospitals and 110 ambulances. The initiatives also include setting up a multi-specialty hospital at Rohini.
Jaitley said admissions to Rohini medical college would begin from the 2015 academic session.
Stressing that Delhi has a cosmopolitan culture and is a mini-India, Jaitley said efforts would be made to strengthen academies of Urdu, Punjabi and Sanskrit.
Admitting that Delhi has two faces — one prosperous and one which lacks basic facilities — Jaitley said initiatives were being taken to improve facilities in the capital.