Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia presented Delhi’s first paperless budget in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday, 9 March. Sisodia called Delhi’s seventh budget as the ‘Deshbhakti’ Budget (Patriotic Budget).
The Delhi Budget for 2021-22 has an outlay of Rs 69,000 crore, 6.1 percent more than last year, which Sisodia said they would fund by collecting a proposed tax of Rs 43,000 crore.
Calling it an excellent budget amid difficult times, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pointed to income sources reducing and expenditure rising during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On reducing fuel prices, he said the state taxes are very low and resources limited, calling on the Centre to take the initiatives.
The Delhi government estimates an expenditure of Rs 9,934 crore or 14 percent of the budget towards the healthcare sector in light of COVID-19.
Sisodia added that hospitals should soon be able to administer 60,000 vaccine shots a day instead of the 45,000 shots it does at present.
Mahila Mohalla Clinics will be set up for women to get better access to quality gynecologists, and treatment of any illnesses, and the first phase will have a 100 new women’s specialist clinics.
The Delhi government also announced a budget of Rs 1,293 crore for renovating and expanding present healthcare infrastructure, and new hospitals, including adding 1,200 new beds.
The government is also allocating Rs 25 crore to set up yoga centres around the city.
Kejriwal on Tuesday said that a vision that the 2048 Olympic Games should be held in Delhi has been provided in the Delhi Budget.
"Delhi will bid for the 2048 Olympics. We will take up whatever infrastructure and other necessities that are needed to be created for it," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"Our government aims to bring the sports facilities and the atmosphere towards sports competitions to such a level through the new Sports University that we can apply to host the 39th Olympic sports competitions for 2048," Sisodial was quoted as saying.
The government has set aside one fourth of the budget, Rs. 16,377 crore, towards education. The AAP government wants to set up the country’s first virtual model school, as well as 100 new schools. A Sainik School and Delhi Armed Forces Preparatory Academy will be set up to coach students for National Defence Academy and armed forces.
Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, announced that Rs 2,000 per student will be given as seed money to develop entrepreneurship skills in children, and upto 16 lakh students will attend happiness classes in a total of 5,651 schools, reported NDTV. The schools will also follow a ‘deshbhakti period’.
The Kejriwal government plans to develop infrastructure to serve a population of 3.28 crore by 2047, reported The Indian Express. The budget lays a vision till 2047, Sisodia said, adding that the government wants to create holistic changes in industry practises so that the per capita income of a Delhi resident would be equal to that of a Singapore citizen.
Delhi is to introduce 1,300 electric buses to improve infrastructure and transport in the capital city.
A budget of Rs 10 crore has been set aside to celebrate the contributions of of Dr BR Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh towards the country, and Rs 26 crore for the families of freedom fighters.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express)