City budget draft ready, needs nod from new govt

The finance department of the Delhi government has nearly prepared the budget for financial year 2014-15 and fixed a target of Rs 32,000 crore revenue.

The financial document is likely to be approved by the new central government.

In the absence of an elected government, the officials of the finance department have prepared the budget with an eye to continue the projects started by the previous regimes.

“The purpose to give the budget a final touch is to ensure that development work in the city does not suffer,” said a senior functionary in the Delhi Secretariat.

He was tight-lipped about the priorities and the allocation of funds to various departments.

“Do not expect a major policy change from the bureaucracy till the time there is an elected government,” he said, underscoring the fact that development would continue to be the focus of government spending. 

Though the government has enough funds for its needs till September, the decision to keep a budget proposal ready is aimed at meeting contingencies in a scenario in which no state government is formed this month.

“Any changes in the budget proposal will now be possible only at the instructions of an elected state government or the new central government,” said an official, who did not want to be named.

Union govt to decide

The official said the new union cabinet alone can decide on the city’s finances and also whether President’s Rule will continue in the city.

The current financial proposal for Delhi, passed by Parliament in February, is valid for six months starting April. In the hung 70-member Assembly, no party has a clear majority and chances of government formation through a coalition seem remote.

The BJP has support of 32 MLAs, the AAP 27, the Congress eight and there are three others. Some BJP legislators claim a party-led government could be formed in the Delhi coming fortnight.

The vote-on-account for the city was hurriedly prepared and approved in Parliament in February after the Arvind Kejriwal government’s exit.

The Delhi Appropriation (Vote on Account Bill, 2014) providing for withdrawal of funds from the consolidated fund of National Capital Territory of Delhi for six months of the financial year 2014-15 was passed by Parliament on February 22.

If no state government is formed this month, the Delhi’s budget would  be passed along with the central government’s budget after the formation of a new union government, said an official.

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