First Swaraj Budget to bring self-rule

First Swaraj Budget to bring self-rule
It’s the first Swaraj Budget of the country,” was the opening line of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while presenting the AAP government’s maiden Budget for 2015-16 fiscal on Thursday.

The Aam Aadmi Party has allocated Rs 253 crore as ‘Swaraj Fund’ to be spent on development work prioritised by citizens.

“Every citizen of the city has a right to be a part of the Budget-making process and we have given this right to the people of Delhi,” he said. “They were part of this budgeting process through mohalla sabhas that were being conducted by the city government in 11 constituencies.”

He said that the city government received nearly 1,500 suggestions and “this budget is the reflection of the will of the people.”

Sisodia added that he was surprised to hear about the demand of a library by residents in one of the mohalla sabhas. “If people need something, we must give it. The participatory budgeting is also a step towards reducing corruption and making people part of democracy,” he added. “It’s the only way to achieve true democracy.”

The Deputy Chief Minister said these 11 constituencies will be given Rs 20 crore each as local area development fund. “We will initiate this scheme on a pilot basis for now and gradually all the 70 constituencies will be covered under it,” said Sisodia. Remaining 59 constituencies will receive Rs 50 lakh each for the development work. 

But the catch is that the money will be spent only if people approve of the work done.
“The contractors will only be paid if locals are satisfied of the work done by them,” he added.

Sisodia termed the exercise “aam aadmi Budget”. “It’s the first aam aadmi Budget and it’s the first step towards attaining swaraj,” said Sisodia.

“Jahan se aati ho manzil ki mehak, woh kacche raaste bhi khushgawar lagte hai (roads that lead to your destination, even if it is too far-fetched, seem wonderful),” Sisodia said, hinting at the challenges that lie ahead of the party for achieving “self-rule”.

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