Little money in poll year

Dashing the hopes of chief minister Sheila Dikshit in an election year, finance minister P Chidam­baram allocated only Rs 1,143 for Delhi in 2013-14. The Centre’s assistance has gone up by just Rs 44 crore from last year’s Rs 1,099 crore.

On Wednesday, Dikshit had rued the fact that the Central government’s annual allocation to the city had remained stagnant at Rs 300 crore for 10 years. And since the city will go to polls later this year, Dikshit wanted more funds for new projects.

Of the Rs 1,143 crore, Rs 10,075.31 crore has come as assistance for the government and Rs 68.39 crore is being provided by the road transport ministry separately.

The Delhi government has also got Rs 700 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for infrastructure projects and housing for the urban poor and Rs 309.92 crore as ‘normal’ assistance.

The projects under the JNNURM scheme will get 35% funding from the Centre while the remaining amount has to be invested by the state. Dikshit stated that the grants under JNNURM will help the government launch new projects. She said that “allocation under JNNURM has increased from Rs 350 crore to Rs 470 crore” and that under Rajiv Awas Yojana “has gone up substantially from Rs 5 crore to Rs 80 crore”.

Though Delhi was given Rs 1,031.61 crore for 2012-13 as assistance, it could spend only Rs 831.61 crore which was reflected in the revised estimate. It was also granted Rs 700 crore under the JNNURM scheme, of which Rs 200 crore remained unspent.

Of the total allocation under JNNURM, Rs 470 crore is for urban infrastructure projects and Rs 150 crore for providing basic services to the urban poor. Rs 54.59 crore has been granted separately to Delhi government under the national social assistance programme. A separate Rs 10 crore has been given under the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojna.

Delhi may also get more buses under the JNNURM scheme. The central government has kept a provision for 15,000 new buses this financial year. While 10,000 of these buses are meant for the hilly areas, senior DTC officials felt Delhi may get a share of the remaining 5,000 buses. The DTC is all set to call tenders for 1,100 more buses.

The Centre has also allotted Rs 100 to the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage as continuation of the government's tradition of “supporting institutions of excellence”.


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