AAP’S MAIDEN BUDGET BOGUS: AJAY MAKEN
NEW DELHI, June 26—Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Shri Ajay Maken termed the Aam Aadmi Party Government’s maiden budget as “fargi degree, fargi sarkar and fargi budget” as the figures given in the budget were unrealistic and manipulated to deceive the common people, who had elected the AAP to power. Shri Maken said though the AAP Finance Minister, while presenting the budget yesterday, said it was a “janata ka budget”, the he devoted hardly five minutes to AAP’s core vote bank of Dalits, Minorities and OBCs, on the strength of their votes the AAP had come to power. “The whole budget has been made on unrealistic revenue forecasts and that is why we term it as a bogus budget”, Shri Maken said.
Addressing a press conference at the DPCC office, Rajiv Bhawan here today, Shri Maken said it was a highly disappointing budget as the basic demands of the people have not been met, as people had high expectations from the AAP Government’s maiden budget in view of the fact that the Aam Aadmi Party had promised a slew of free-bies and many other incentives and facilities during its election campaign. He said the AAP had promised to address the needs and dreams of everybody, as it had claimed that the budget was made through people’s participation, but the end product was totally disappointing and a charade played on the people. He said the budget will push up prices of essential commodities, including vegetables, stall development works and the people would be bled in every possible manner, as taxes have been hiked on goods vehicles coming to Delhi from outside, and the farmers who used to cultivate vegetables on the banks of the Yamuna river, have been removed from there.
Shri Maken, pointing out the weak points in the budget, said it has not been specified anywhere as to where would the money come for all the welfare measures promised in the budget. He said that the growth in revenue from the Stamp and Registration Duty was (minus)-4.16 per cent in 2013-14 in comparison with the year 2012-13, while it further reduced to (minus)-4.34 in 2014-2015 in comparison to 2013-14. However the Chief Minister of Delhi has projected that the revenue from this account will go up to (plus)+37 per cent, which an almost impossible target considering the slump in real estate market. Further, the Kejriwal Government has also failed to bring any new infrastructural projects which would have revived the real estate market. Similarly, the increase in VAT collection in 2012-13 was 14.93 per cent as compared to the previous year, the collection of VAT came down by 1.5% 2013-14 and slumped further by 11 per cent to merely 2.06% in 2014-15, but the AAP Chief Minister says that VAT revenue in National Capital will increase by 31.2 per cent in the coming financial year. The same is unrealistic, especially considering the Manifesto of AAP wherein they promised to slash VAT rates significantly. Sh. Maken said that the non-tax revenue generation was Rs 635 crore during the last financial year, but the Finance Minister claims that it would jump to Rs 1127 crores in the coming financial year—an increase of 72.5 per cent. He said there was negative growth in the economy in 2014-15, compared to 2013-14 (Rs 659 crore).
He said the capital expenditure i.e. expenditure on infrastructure of the Delhi Government during the Congress regime is worth noting – in 2011-12 it was Rs 8437 crore, Rs 9199 crore in 2012-13, Rs 11685 crore in 2013-14. However as soon the Congress demitted office there was sharp decline and the figure slumped to Rs 7476 crore in 2014-15. From the maiden budget of this Government it seems the Kejriwal Government will miserably fail to bring Delhi on the same pace at which it was during the Congress’s regime.
Shri Maken said the fiscal health of Delhi will not surely grow at the same pace as it was growing during the golden period of 2017-12 when the Congress was in power in Delhi. He said with the revenue collection growth rate for the year 2014-15 was at a mere 2.64 per cent, and it was hard to believe that the revenue collection will pick up at any faster pace now when the government is spending its maximum in politics of confrontation and allegations.
Quoting figures, Shri Ajay Maken said after the BJP and AAP came to power at the Centre and in Delhi, respectively, the revenue collection growth rate had decreased at an alarming rate, from 21.2 per cent in 2012-13 to just 2.64 per cent in 2014-15. He said sanctioning a mere Rs 50 crore for providing free internet in colleges and villages was a big joke as the AAP had promised the moon to the people. Quoting figures, Shri Maken also called the bluff of the AAP Government that it was getting step-motherly treatment from the Centre as far as grant-in-aid was concerned. Shri Maken said the Delhi Government got Rs 2346.82 crore from the Centre in 2014-15 compared to Rs 1502.52 corre in 2013-14—an increase of over Rs 844 crores—and wondered how can that be termed as step-motherly treatment.
Shri Ajay Maken, comparing the AAP Budget with that of the Congress rule, said “ruk gayi Dilli ke rafter, jab se gayi Congress ki sarkar” as during the Congress rule, the tax collection was more, and Delhi had witnessed all round development. He said there was nothing special in the budget for women’s safety and security, as there was no mention of installing CCT cameras on bus stops or no other steps in that direction. On the other hand, the helpline started by the Congress Government for women’s safety has been discontinued. He said there is a mention in the budget of laying drinking water pipelines in unauthorized colonies, though the layout plans of these colonies were yet to be finalized.
Shri Maken said the budget has made a provision of Rs 30 crore for educational loans, which will facilitate giving upto Rs 10 lakh to a student. But the budget makes no mention of giving subsidy in the interest of the loans for if such an announcement had been made, it would have benefited those students who had availed off loans earlier. The UPA Government had already made a provision for student loans upto Rs 7.5 lakh without any collatorial, and a student could get education in the best colleges of Delhi with that amount.
Shri Ajay Maken said Sisodia had said in his budget speech that the Congress Government had made provision for only 10,000 beds in Government hospitals, though the truth was that the Congress Government had made provision for 44000 beds, and 543 new dispensaries were also opened. He said the AAP, in its vision document, had said that provision would be made for 30,000 new beds and 40,000 maternity beds in hospitals. He said the AAP Government has neither regularized the services of contract doctors, nor has taken any step to fill up the vacant slots of doctors, which make AAP’s budget statements hollow.