The Delhi government is likely to table its budget for the upcoming financial year in the first week of March. However, with bypolls looming in 20 Assembly constituencies, officials said that in case of no relief from the judiciary, the government will have to take permission from the Election Commission to present its budget.
The fourth budget of the AAP government since coming into power, officials said, is important for the party as it looks to prepare for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls along with the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections. A government spokesperson said, “The issue at hand is that if the disqualification of the MLAs is not struck down by the court, then the government will have to take permission from the EC before presenting a budget.”
Key among the Delhi government’s projects for the next year is the provision of doorstep delivery of services — a move that the party believes will be a political gamechanger. The government is also likely to increase its focus on the laying of sewer lines, provision of drinking water to areas where the supply is erratic and development of unauthorised colonies. The official added, “The budget is significant since it is the first budget in Delhi since the imposition of GST, since demonetisation and while the sealing drive is taking place.”
The upcoming financial year is also likely to see an injection of funds into the Departments of Arts and Culture — a ministry that Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has recently taken up. A party leader said, “People of Delhi are interested in arts but hardly anything happens here. Moreover, there is also a political need for artistic activities focussing on secularism.”