A day after the annual budget was presented in the MCD House, leader of opposition Jai Kishen Sharma on Tuesday pointed out that the amount earmarked for health has been reduced by as much as 33%, as compared to last year.
"The 2010-11 budget provided for Rs. 847.26 crore for public health and medical aid while the 2011-12 budget estimate provides only Rs. 551.69 crore," Sharma said while opening the debate on the annual budget estimate for 2011-12 and revised budget estimate for 2010-11.
"How do they plan to upgrade hospitals with this cut?" Sharma asked. Sharma further refuted claims made by Yogender Chandolia, the standing committee chairman about doling out around Rs. 2 crore to each councilor under new heads and said, "Similar promises were made last year. But no one ever got to see R50 lakh promised under the 'plan head'."
He went ahead to criticize the budget estimate for lagging far behind the targeted earnings and recited figures of actual collection as on January 24 to show the deficit and remarked, "Despite this, they are claiming increased earnings for next year!"
Claiming that mismanagement and faulty policies of the BJP rule have brought MCD's financial status to the brink, Sharma also pointed out several discrepancies and unnecessary increases in the budget estimate that "will burden the common man."
For instance, he said, regular increase in toll tax would increase the transportation cost and in turn, directly affect the masses; there is no provision for new community halls despite a promise to this effect in the Delhi High Court.
So, there should be adequate funds for building new community centres and maintenance of the existing ones.