No new taxes likely in Delhi budget

March 16th, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Delhi’s new budget, expected to be unveiled in the session beginning Monday, is unlikely to see new taxes. It is the last budget of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s led Congress government. With assembly elections due in November, Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna is likely to announce major sops, particularly for the development of unauthorised colonies that are home to over 3.5 million people.

Delhi Finance Minister A.K. Walia will present the budget for 2008-09 March 24. The government has sought Rs.90 billion from the Planning Commission.

The government has decided to regularise as many as 1,400 unauthorised colonies, official sources said.

“An action plan for the development of these colonies will be the main feature of the Lt. Governor’s speech,” an official said.

The government intends to provide basic amenities like roads, power and water supply to these colonies.

The sources said that Dikshit assured the Congress party’s state unit chief, J.P. Aggarwal, that her government would not levy new taxes.

Earlier, Aggarwal expressed unhappiness a proposal to hike taxes on pets.

“I had written to the chief minister following the public outburst on hiking taxes for pets. She gave a positive response,” Aggarwal told IANS. “I expect no new taxes in the budget and more funds for development.”

The Congress has ruled Delhi for 10 years although it lost the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year.

The budget will also focus on health, education, tourism and facilities for senior citizens.

The government intends to spend Rs.13 billion on urban development since the infrastructure needs to be upgraded ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Medical infrastructure is likely to get Rs.8.2 billion, while the housing sector stands to gain Rs.1.8 billion. Basic health facilities including procurement of equipment in government hospitals would get Rs.509 million, officials said.

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