The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led government is likely to present the Delhi budget in the first week of March with focus on education and health sector. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had said during an event to mark the completion of two years of AAP government in power that he wants parties to fight election based on the issue of education, and as finance minister his focus would be on education.
Sisodia held a meeting on budget with the officials of the planning, statistics and finance departments.
“Preparation of Delhi budget 2017 begins! Every provision carefully being reviewed, it will be a symbol of People Centric Governance. Efficient utilization of tax with honesty and transparency has always been our driving force. Really excited about Delhi Budget2017!,” Sisodia tweeted on Wednesday.
The Delhi government will do away with the traditional system of fund allocation under the plan and non-plan heads this time. The allocation will be broadly under two heads — revenue and capital expenditure.
The development comes in line with the budgetary reforms being introduced by the Central government for its upcoming budget as it has decided to do away with the five-year planning system of the economy, officials said.
Officials said the new budgeting practice will help in optimum utilisation of funds. “In the existing system, it was often seen that while funds for any new asset was provided under the plan head, budget for its maintenance would often be under the non-plan. However, from the upcoming financial year, all expenditure allocations will be done only under two heads, revenue and capital,” a senior official said.
Revenue expenditure is meant for recurring expenses like salary payments, pension disbursal and other establishment expenses among others. All expenses that are meant for asset and infrastructure creation will come under capital expenditure.
Officials said instead of the five-year plan, the government would now focus on having a long-term vision document. “Now the budget will mainly be in form of output, outcome and long-term goals,” an official said.
Last year, Sisodia had presented an R 46,600 crore annual budget in which education, health and transport sectors got the maximum share of the total allocation. 22.9% of the total budget was allocated to the education sector and this year it is expected to be more than 25% with focus on training programmes and physical infrastructure.
The government is unlikely to increase VAT or any other taxes keeping the municipal election in mind. Also, since GST will be enrolled, government is not focusing on reduction in taxes. However, infrastructural projects might get a push.