Delhi govt budget aims at raising per capita income at par with Singapore by 2047

Economy


The Delhi government’s 2021-22 budget aims at economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic and strives to raise per capita income of the national capital to the level of Singapore by 2047. The proposed budget estimates at Rs 69,000 crore is the highest so far in Delhi, despite the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the government’s resources.

Presenting the budget in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it is 6.15 per cent higher than the Rs 65,000 crore budget in 2020-21.

The government highlighted that Rs 37,800 crore or 55 per cent of the budget estimates will be redirected towards subsidy schemes, social security and other pro-people programmes.

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“Under previous governments in Delhi, establishment costs used to be around 70-80 per cent. In our budget, establishment costs are only 45 per cent which means 55 per cent of it can be redirected towards subsidy schemes and programs such as social security and other pro-people measures,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

He said it was possible due to efficient financial management by his government.

“Our aim for 2047 is to have the per capita income of Delhi equal to that of Singapore. For that, we will have to increase the per capita income by 16 per cent and we will do whatever it takes to achieve that,” he asserted.

The nationwide lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic caused an economic slowdown, the impact of which is a significant decrease in our tax revenue for the current financial year, Sisodia said while presenting the budget 2021-22.

“Upto January 2021, the collection of tax revenue was approximately 40 per cent lesser that the budget estimates,” he said.

Giving a digital touch, the deputy CM read out the budget from a tab.

Stating that extraordinary measures were required to come out of the extraordinary circumstances posed by COVID-19, Sisodia cited the government’s decision to decrease circle rates of properties by 20 per cent for six months.

“Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee recently said that cities offer maximum employment for unskilled workers in the real estate sector and this helps in the alleviation of poverty. We hope that this measure of the government will create new employment opportunities for the poor and marginalised sections,” he said.

The contraction in the gross state domestic product (GSDP) is 5.68 per cent (at constant prices) during the year 2020-21 that showed the impact of the pandemic, he stated.

Sisodia, who is also in-charge of the city government’s finance department, said, “In this budget, I will also propose the foundation of preparations required in 2047 in terms of appropriate infrastructure and facilities to enable the people of Delhi to live with dignity.

Out of the budget estimates of Rs 69,000 crore, the government has targeted to collect Rs 43,000 crore from taxes. It will be 62 per cent of the total receipts of the government.

At Rs 30,000 crore, GST and VAT will form 70 per cent of the total tax receipts followed by Rs 6,000 crore from excise duty and Rs 5,000 crore from stamps and registration fees, and Rs 2,000 crore from taxes on motor vehicles, he said.

Comprehensive changes are being made to the excise policy of Delhi to improve the collection of taxes. This will include preventing the sale of duty free liquor and various new changes to bring liquor shopping in Delhi up to the international standard, the minister underlined.

Delhi budget has been a surplus budget since the first budget presented by Sisodia in 2015. It was the AAP leader’s seventh budget presentation in the Delhi Assembly.

Delhi’s outstanding debt was kept at Rs 31,135 crore till March 2020 through efficient and effective financial management. It has declined from 5.90 per cent in 2014-15 to 3.74 per cent of GSDP in 2019-20, he added.



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