The focus is back on governance at the Delhi Secretariat with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal back from a 11-day-long hiatus and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party chugging back on the path of reconciliation.
The AAP, which got an unprecedented mandate with the party winning 67 of the total 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly, is yet to deliver on many of its pre-election promises.
The government had announced subsidised power and free water — two key poll promises — but will have to work out the financial modalities in the vote-on-account or interim budget. This will ensure flow of money for the government schemes for the initial three months after which the full budget will be presented in the assembly and money will be allocated.
Senior officials are working on proposals for the vote-on-account.
“Since funds earmarked for the current financial year will expire on March 31, the government needs to allocate funds till it presents the budget. That is why the focus is currently on the vote-on-account, which will be held on March 24 and 25,” the official added.
The officials the budget was getting delayed as Kejriwal directed that public suggestions should be sought before working out proposals of expenditure and allocation of money in key areas.
“We will select 10 constituencies since collating suggestions from 70 seats will take a lot of time. We believe one month is enough to take suggestions and area MLAs will help the government in reaching out to the public,” said the official.
Wi-fi and task forces
Having joined office on Tuesday, the chief minister has already reviewed the progress of various projects. Prominent among them are free wi-fi, the white paper on power and the relaunch of the anti-corruption helpline.
After meeting his cabinet ministers on Tuesday, Kejriwal had asked party MLAs to inform him about the problems in their constituencies. “Instead of asking departments to fix problems, he is collecting a list of problems through MLAs and will direct the departments concerned. Members of the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) will be called to know the status of 21 task forces on various issues,” said a Delhi government official.The task force on wi-fi and power has already been set up and the DDC is in the process of initiating public debate on other issues. Since Kejriwal has not kept any portfolio with him, he will review every task force. The CM will review the role of newly-appointed 21 parliamentary secretaries.
Kejriwal has been particularly keen on the revival of the anti-corruption helpline and strengthening the anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the state government. He is hand-picking officers from other states and Centre to join the ACB.