Walia presents his fifth Delhi budget Monday

March 23rd, 2008 - 9:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Finance and Planning Minister A.K. Walia Monday will unveil his fifth consecutive annual budget of the Delhi government, which is unlikely to see any new taxes. He held a final budget meeting Sunday noon with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and other cabinet colleagues at her residence here. The budget holds significance for the Congress government, which will seek re-election seven months later when current assembly’s term expires in November. Hence, the budget is unlikely to have any new taxes.

Education, health, basic amenities in the unauthorised colonies, sports, financial relief to the old people and widows are likely to get more funds in the 2008-09 budget. The Planning Commission has granted Rs.100 billion ($2.5 billion) as the annual plan for Delhi in the coming fiscal.

Sources said the capital’s all-round rosy picture depicted in the latest Economic Survey of the state would be reflected in the new budgetary allocations as well. The survey pegs the city residents’ per capita income at Rs.66,728 against the national figure of Rs.29,642 per annum.

Official sources said cash incentive are likely to be announced for school students of various classes - like Rs 30 to buy a geometry box and for Class XI student.

“The government can allocate special funds for grooming and training sportspersons from the city for the Commonwealth Games,” sources said.

The social welfare schemes are likely to get Rs.1.65 billion, while the Department of Women and Child Development might get over Rs.1.35 billion.

As the government intends to give old age pension to 200,000 senior citizens in the new fiscal, Rs.1.35 billion is likely to be earmarked for pension disbursement at rate of Rs.600 per month to a person who is 60 years old and has annual income not more than Rs.48,000.

The Congress has been ruling the state for 10 years. But lost the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year.

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.

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