At Rs 16,396 crore, lion’s share for education, focus on healthcare : The Tribune India

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Delhi Budget 2024-25

At Rs 16,396 crore, lion’s share for education, focus on healthcare

Non-tax paying women above 18 to get Rs 1,000 per month

At Rs 16,396 crore, lion’s share for education, focus on healthcare

Delhi Finance Minister Atishi presents the Delhi state budget 2024-25 on Monday. MANAS RANJAN BHUI



Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, March 4

Women empowerment, education and “Ram Rajya” style of governance become the major highlights of the Delhi budget presented on Monday. Finance Minister Atishi presented the Budget in the Assembly for the financial year 2024-25, with an outlay of Rs 76,000 crore.

Capital’s contribution to GDP 3.8%: Atishi

  • Finance Minister Atishi said the population of Delhi was 1.55 per cent of the total population of the country and it had contributed 3.89 per cent to the country’s GDP at constant prices in 2023-24.
  • She added that the per capita income of Delhi had increased to Rs 4.62 lakh in 2023-24 at current prices, from Rs 2.47 lakh in 2014-15.

Rs 1K for women beyond manifesto

We have proposed a provision for providing Rs 1,000 monthly to all women above 18 years in the city which were not even promised in the AAP’s manifesto. If the BJP opposes this scheme, we will stage protests to get this scheme approved. Saurabh Bharadwaj, Delhi Health Minister

Lacks substance

The budget speech lacked substance, overlooking previous commitments like employment generation and transport development. It lacks accountability, with no mention of previous allocations or their utilisation. Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Leader of Opposition

Atishi said: “By presenting this budget, I am also placing before this Assembly the evolving picture of Delhi over the past 10 years.”

She added that the Delhi Government was inspired by the life of Lord Ram and hence it had pledged to realise the dream of “Ram Rajya” in Delhi. Atishi was presenting her first Budget as Finance Minister. Last year, Kailash Gahlot had presented it after the arrest of Manish Sisodia.

The key highlight of the budget is the “Mukhyamantri Mahila Samman Yojana”, which is proposed for the welfare and empowerment of woman. Under this scheme, Rs 1,000 would be provided to women above the age of 18 every month.

Any woman who is the beneficiary of pension scheme or a government employee or an income tax payer would be exempted from the benefits of the yojana. A sum of Rs 2,000 crore has been proposed for the scheme for 2024-25.

At a sum of Rs 16,396 crore, a major chunk of the budget has been allocated to the education sector. “Education has always been our government’s priority. That is the reason why, upon assuming power in 2015, we doubled the budget for education and consistently allocated almost one-fourth of the total budget to education for the past 10 years,” the minister said.

She added that in just nine years, the government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had built 22,711 new classrooms, from mere 24,000 in 2014-15. In 2021-22, the government launched “Schools of Specialised Excellence” (SoSE), in which 38 school campuses were built across Delhi in 56 domains, including STEM, humanities, performing and visual arts, and high-end 21st century skills, Atishi said. An amount of Rs 42 crore has been allocated for SoSEs in this budget.

The government has allocated Rs 8,685 crore for the health sector, which includes Rs 6,215 crore for maintaining government hospitals, Rs 658 crore for supply of medicines and Rs 400 crore for construction of new hospitals and expansion of existing ones. A sum of Rs 7,195 crore has been allocated for the water sector to ensure water and sewerage facility. With an aim to improve public transportation and switching to clean energy buses (electric buses), the government has allocated Rs 5,702 crore.

In the power sector, with a budget outlay of Rs 3,353 crore, the government has planned to have solar plants on the roofs of every building of the Delhi Government, with a target of 4,500 MW or 25 per cent of the total power supply coming from green energy by 2027.

Atishi said in 2014-15, Delhi’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was Rs 4.95 lakh crore, and within ten years, it had reached Rs 11.8 lakh crore, with a growth rate of 9.17 per cent during financial year 2023-24. In 2023-24, the GSDP was Rs 10.15 lakh crore.

She said the population of Delhi was 1.55 per cent of the total population of the country and it had contributed 3.89 per cent to the country’s GDP at constant prices in 2023-24. She added that the per capita income of Delhi had increased to Rs 4.62 lakh in 2023-24 at current prices, from Rs 2.47 lakh in 2014-15.

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