New Delhi, Mar 28: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi, presented its first annual budget after coming to power. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia rolled out the fiscal policy for the year 2015-16 on Monday. The budget has slashed taxes on various consumer goods including sweets, snacks, footwear and garments. The huge subsidy on electricity will continue to remain in place. Sisodia further announced that Valued Added Tax (VAT) would be rationalized and reduced depending on the impact of product on the masses.
The total amount of budget allocated by Manish Sisodia is Rs 46,660 crores. Education sector is the maximum gainer with at least 25 per cent of the amount allotted for it. The Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) has also been granted an additional Rs 1,000 crore. Despite facing criticism for awarding unprecedented subsidy for electricity users, Kejriwal government has decided to continue offering the sops by allotting Rs 1,600 crore for the same. (ALSO READ: Delhi Assembly uproar: Arvind Kejriwal questions PM Modi for permitting Pakistan JIT team in Pathankot, AAP MLAs shout ‘ISI go back’)
Here are some of the highlights of the Budget:
– Taxes have been cut on sweets, snacks, garments, footwears and other consumer products. Price of watches have also been brought down.
– VAT on green vehicles – battery run, electrically charged and hybrid cars have been reduced.
– Rs 10 crore have been allocated for Aam Aadmi canteens, which would provide meals to common people at rates as low as Rs 5 & Rs 10. The concept has been based on the module of Amma canteens in Tamil Nadu.
– The Delhi Municipal Corporation has been granted the highest allocation ever of Rs 6,919 crores. This is nearly Rs 1000 crore more than one allotted during previous years’ budget.
– Rs 1,000 crores have been set aside for planting CCTVs in all classrooms of schools functioning in NCR region.
– AAP government has announced that it will also pay for the charges incurred for planting spot-lights in 82,000 dark spots in Delhi.
– Arvind Kejriwal is considered a messiah by the lower-economic strata for reducing the electricity prices after coming to power. A whopping Rs 1,600 crore has been allotted as subsidy in the sector to make up for the losses incurred on providing electricity to the common man on below par prices.
– Delhi government would also incur the charges which would come up in setting up Wifi hotspots at several public places in the national capital, Sisodia announced.
– Subsidy on e-rickshaw has been increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 15,000. There is some relief for cyclers too as the government is planning a separate lane on roads to accommodate them.
To sum up, the budget presented by AAP was highly populist and would definitely end up impressing the aam aadmi. Whether it would adversely impact the state exchequer, would known in some time. For now, Delhiites could proclaim it as their ‘dream budget’.