New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday called on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Confirming the meeting later, Kejriwal said, “I met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ji and assured her of our cooperation.”
As to what was the agenda of the meeting, Kejriwal said, “We discussed issues relating to improving Delhi’s economy, demanded grants from Centre to municipal bodies in Delhi and IGST of Rs 3,000 crore that is with the Centre should be returned to Delhi.”
On the contentious issue of making Metro rides free for women, the Chief Minister said, “Legally, the Delhi government doesn’t need to send a proposal to Centre regarding free ride for women on Delhi Metro. Both Delhi Metro & Delhi government are ready to work on this proposal. Being the Delhi Chief Minister, I assure women of Delhi that we will implement free Metro ride for women in Delhi.”
Just a day ago, the Centre had said that it had not received any proposal from the Delhi government over the proposed free rides for women in Delhi Metro. Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for the Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, said that the Centre did not have any proposal for free rides for women in Delhi Metro train.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had recently announced to make travelling in buses and Delhi Metro free for women. “The government is planning free travel for women in public transport and is going to bear the loss of revenue that Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Delhi Transport Corporation and the cluster scheme buses would face due to this decision,” a Delhi government official was quoted as saying by a daily.
The state Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has reportedly held a meeting with senior officials of DMRC and asked them to submit a proposal on how they can facilitate free travel for women and what it would cost.