Sheila writes her final test ahead of Assembly pollshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/sheila-writes-her-final-test-ahead-of-assembly-polls/

Sheila writes her final test ahead of Assembly polls

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,who also holds the Finance portfolio,announced the “people-friendly” budget for financial year 2012-13 on Monday.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,who also holds the Finance portfolio,announced the “people-friendly” budget for financial year 2012-13 on Monday. To make Delhi a “caring city” Dikshit earmarked a substantial sum for sectors like social welfare,education and health.

With the Delhi Assembly elections scheduled for December 2013,the budget is being seen as Congress’s last ditch attempt at wooing the voters,following the “fiasco” in the recent municipal polls.

Following the sentiment towards the increase in petrol prices,Dikshit announced an immediate relief of Rs 1.26 by eliminating VAT on the hiked component of petrol prices. At Rs 71.92,Delhi will offer petrol at the cheapest rates among all metropolitan cities.

On the other hand,Dikshit proposed a fresh five per cent VAT on CNG,opening a possibility of increase in public transport prices.

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Social services sector received the highest allocation of Rs 9,796 crore accounting for 65 per cent of the total plan outlay this fiscal year as compared to 59 per cent in 2011-2012.

Other sectors to be allocated a substantial amount this budget were transport,medical and health. Education sector has been allocated Rs 1,901 crore and water and sanitation sector Rs 1,800 crore. Another Rs 631 crore has been earmarked for development activities in unauthorised colonies.

Dikshit announced Dilli Annashree Scheme,which will provide food subsidy of Rs 600 per month for those not covered by any other scheme. Also announced were provisions for residents in JJ resettlement colonies,urban and rural villages and unauthorised colonies.

The government aims to make the Capital a “kerosene-free” city,by providing a one-time cash subsidy of Rs 2,000 for getting a LPG connection.

The ‘My Delhi,I Care Fund Programme’ proposed to provide more budgetary allocation for development work in colonies as suggested by residents.

“Whatever problems people have been facing because of inflation,this budget aims to give them as much relief as possible,” she said.

The BJP-led opposition,however,accused the government of ignoring the basic issues of water and power supply in the city. The budget presentation started with an uproar as the Opposition leaders demanded Dikshit’s resignation over acute shortage of water supply.

The previous budget’s size was Rs 27,067 crore,with a plan outlay of Rs 13,600 crore and a non-plan expenditure of Rs 13,307 crore. This year,the budget estimate is Rs 33,436 crore,with a plan outlay of Rs 15,000 crore and a non-plan head of Rs 18,268.

“The proposed plan outlay for the 12th Plan represents a 64 per cent step up over the 11th Plan. The Budget will be financed 94 per cent from our own resources,and 6 per cent as grant from the Centre,” Dikshit said.

The proposed target for tax collection this year is Rs 26,150 crore,which will represent a growth of 31 per cent as compared to the previous year.