CM plays no new tax card in Budget

Existing taxes not hiked further, social sector allotted 65 per cent of outlay

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday presented Rs 37,450 crore budget for the financial year 2013-14, however neither any new tax has been imposed nor any existing one been hiked.

On the top of it, several items such as chilly spray, singhara, geometry boxes, organic gulal, footwear with market price of less than Rs 500 will be exempted from the levy of 12.5 per cent VAT while the same has been slashed to 5 per cent in case of desi ghee and LED lights.

Quoting English philanthropist Hannah More that proportion and priority are among the best secrets of domestic wisdom, and there is no surer test of integrity than a well proportional expenditure, Dikshit in her Budget speech on Wednesday said the growth rate of Delhi’s economy is very robust but this growth needs to be backed by appropriate policies that would facilitate a general improvement in the living standards and enhancement of people’s well being.

“This requires making good use of the public revenue generated by fast economic growth for social services, especially for public healthcare and public education that would give the socially and economically disadvantaged adequate capabilities to participate in the growing economy,” she said presenting her third consecutive budget after taking over as the finance portfolio in 2010.

Expenditure

Out of the total Rs 37,450 crore proposed expenditure, Rs 21, 000 crore is non-plan expenditure, Rs 16,000 crore plan expenditure and Rs 450 crore under centrally sponsored schemes.

Non-plan expenditure

The non-plan expenditure includes Rs 2,402 crore as devolution to local bodies, Rs 500 crore as ways and means loan to North and East Corporations, Rs 1,180 crore to local bodies as share of stamp and registration fee, Rs 840 crore for DTC and Rs 90 crore for Delhi Urban Slum Improvement Board (DUSIB) to meet their non-plan deficits during the year 2013-14. Major increase in non-plan expenditure is attributed to the proposed release of Rs 3,327 crore to NTPC, NPHC etc to clear dues of erstwhile DESU.
Plan outlay
Government’s focus area continues to be social services sector which receives the highest priority in terms of bugetary allocation under plan and proposed an outlay of Rs 10,359 crore with share of about 65 per cent of total planned Budget.

Pertaining to sectoral allocation, transport tops the list followed by health.

While transport gets the allocation of Rs 3,876 crore (24 per cent of the total approved outlay), health received Rs 2,490 crore (15.45 per cent).

“My government stands committed to making Delhi the health and well-being capital of the country. Delhi has now a total of 43, 500 hospital beds in 886 health institutions,” she said announcing an increase of 33 per cent in health allocations from Rs 1,872 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 2,490 crore.

 “We will now sharpen our focus on preventive and promotive aspects of healthcare and encourage holistic approach to management of health, with focus on public health and management of lifestyle diseases,” she added.

Education

General and technical education got Rs 1,981 crore (12.38 per cent), urban development got Rs 1,840 crore (11.50 percent) and water supply and sanitation were
allocated Rs 1,665 crore (10.41 percent).

Collection

The proposed expenditure is to be financed by Rs 30,454 crore from tax revenue, Rs 913 crore from non-tax revenue, capitals receipts of Rs 4,113 crore, grant-in-aid of Rs 2,701 crore from central government. A surplus of Rs 731 crore will left.

Highlights

New schemes

*  Dilli Swawlamban Yojana (DSY),
a co-contributory pension scheme for the unorganised sector will be introduced with annual contribution of Rs 1,000 per person along with an equal contribution from the central government. It is intended to be made Aadhaar enabled.

The contribution of subscribers will be up to Rs 12,000 per annum.

* Financial support of Rs 1,000 per month will be given to those transgenders who have been living in Delhi for at least three years. They will also be eligible for benefits under Dilli Annshree Yojana with effect from April 1, 2013.

Monetary benefits

*Pension for senior citizens (not belonging to SC/ST/minority communities) has been
increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per month. Differently abled persons and women in distress will also get a monthly financial aid of Rs 1,500. The Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities will be provided Rs 5 lakh loan under Delhi Swarojgar Yojana.
* The annual grant to Delhi Haj Committee has been enhanced from the existing Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore.

* The income limit of people eligible for financial benefit under Delhi Arogya Kosh is proposed to be increased to Rs 3 lakh from the existing Rs 2 lakh per annum.

*A fund of Rs 5 crore is in the offing for the welfare of journalists.
In the pipeline

*Nine new hospitals, seven new dispensaries and ‘tobacco cessation clinics’ will come up in all districts to spread awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco.

* Around 8,000 new autorickshaws will be allotted to private companies on the lines of radio taxis.

* Government will procure 625 low-floor and 1,100 semi low-floor buses.

* Around 100 ambulances to be bought to increase the fleet of CAT ambulances to 251.
New water treatment plant to be built at Palla with a capacity of 31 MGR.

* To improve quality of school education, the award amount for best teachers of each zone has been increased from Rs 10,000 to
Rs 25,000.

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