scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

FM: Rs 1,300 crore deficit but ‘no need to panic’

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,Finance Minister A K Walia presented the interim budget for 2009-10 in the House on Wednesday and sought a vote-on-account to carry on work and meet expenditure for the period between April and June.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
February 26, 2009 12:20:09 am

* Interim Budget: Delhi to spend Rs 23,043 crore this fiscal
* Slowdown hits growth,revenue collection,admits FM
* Enough fund for Games: Walia

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,Finance Minister A K Walia presented the interim budget for 2009-10 in the House on Wednesday and sought a vote-on-account to carry on work and meet expenditure for the period between April and June.

“The final budget will be presented in the last week of June,after the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

While this is the seventh time the Delhi government tabled the budget while seeking the vote-on-account to the extent of one-fourth of the projected expenditure,Walia said that this is being done because the Central government too,has approved an interim budget in view of the impending election.

The government had earlier submitted an interim budget in 2004 before the general elections then and in 2007,due to the municipal elections. A vote-on-account budget was also submitted earlier in 1994,1999,1997 and 2002.

While the interim budget estimates a total expenditure of Rs 23,043 crore for 2009-10,Walia said the government will spend Rs 5,700 crore (one-fourth of the annual budget money) in the first quarter.

The annual budget includes Rs 10,000 crore as plan outlay and Rs 12,932 crore as non-plan expenditure. The government has kept about Rs 111 crore for all Centrally Sponsored Schemes,Walia said.

Besides the revenue collection dipping this year,Walia admitted that economic slowdown has had an impact on government coffers.

The stamp duty collections dipped to Rs 900 crore against the projected amount of Rs 1,620 crore. The number of vehicle registrations also took a beating,with the government managing to collect only Rs 470 crore as motor vehicle tax this year. “In all,mainly because of the slump in the real estate sector,we are facing a deficit of about Rs 1,300 crore this year,” Walia said. “But there is no need to panic.”

However,an official in the finance department said there has been a slowdown in the annual growth this year. The growth,he said,will come down to about 10 per cent from the 15 to 18 per cent ‘buoyant’ growth the government has been enjoying over the last few years.

“We are not short of money,but from now on,the government will have to rethink over every rupee it wishes to spend,” a senior official said,indicating that the government may put all new projects on hold for the time being.

In the wake of serious doubts raised in the Parliament over the completion of Commonwealth Games projects,Walia reiterated the government stand. Priority will be to complete all projects related to the Commonwealth Games,he said.

“The Centre has allotted Rs 1,000 crore for the Games and we are expecting about Rs 1,045 crore through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Scheme. There is no dearth of funds for the Games,” he said.

Meanwhile,BJP MLAs staged a walk-out when Speaker Yoganand Shastri refused to allow a discussion on supplementary grants. Leader of the Opposition V K Malhotra said though vote-on-account is usually passed without discussion,debates on supplementary grants are mandatory. The vote-on-account was then passed in their absence.

On the sidelines
The Delhi government approved the dual pension scheme for MLAs. Already in practice in other states,the scheme allows those holding public office to draw pension not only from their current position,but also from the office they held previously. Ministers who will benefit from the scheme include Health Minister Kiran Walia,who taught in Delhi University,and Speaker Yoganand Shastri.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement