During its last stint the Aam Aadmi Party government wanted to start ‘mohalla sabhas’ through its Swaraj Bill to empower people of Delhi to decide how they wanted funds to be spent.
The government that lasted only 49 days in 2014 was unable to achieve it then. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday made an announcement in his first speech in the Delhi assembly that people of Delhi would form their own budget as part of a ‘new experiment’.
“We are going to start this experiment wherein we will select 5-10 assembly constituencies. These constituencies will be divided into smaller mohallas and they will discuss and submit a proposal. In these constituencies people will tell us whether they want their streetlights fixed or their drains repaired.
The entire exercise of making the budget will be done by people,” said Kejriwal. “Whatever direction the janta will give us we will follow that,’ he said.
The chief minister said that the need to conduct this experiment was felt as the routine way of making the budget by the government department was not serving any purpose.
Kejriwal emphasised on the fact that the entire exercise of making the budget is nothing more than a formality wherein departments come and ask for funds without realising what people need. He also asked all the MLAs to submit a summer action plan for their constituencies so that action can be taken on them soon.
He also promised that his government would soon make an announcement on reducing power bills by 50 per cent and distributing free water.
Announcing ‘one more experiment’, Kejriwal said, “Let's set a target for all the departments and the officer who comes up with the best plan to meet the target will be granted a posting. No one will interfere in that officer’s functioning. We hope this will improve efficiency and productivity in bureaucracy”.