The "election Budget" of Delhi Finance Minister AK Walia, to be presented on Monday, will target voters ahead of the Assembly elections to be held in December.
As the minister hardly has any flexibility on reducing or increasing the prices due to the Uniform Floor Rate regime of the Value Added Tax, he is expected to focus on giving concessions and monetary benefits to the socially deprived. HT has details on what would the Budget mean for the people of Delhi in the social sector.
The government will spend Rs 165 crore for social welfare in 2008-09, Rs 20 crore more than the allocation in 2007-08. In addition, the Department of Women and Child Development will be given a Budget of Rs 135.4 crore for the next financial year.
Expansion of old age pension: Rs 135 crore will be given to around two lakh people at the rate of Rs 600 per month. The scheme covers those above 60 years of age and whose family income does not exceed Rs 48,000 per annum.
Unemployment allowance to disabled persons: The provision of compulsory registration of 2 years at the employment exchange will be done away with Rs 0.5 crore would be disbursed to the handicapped persons in the next financial year. They will get a minimum of Rs 350 per month and a maximum of Rs 600.
Financial assistance to widows for marriage of daughters: The government will give Rs 5 crore to widows whose income from all sources is not more than Rs 48,000 per annum.
Pension to widows: The government will give Rs 8.5 crore to benefit about 12,000 widows in the city. Those in the age group of 18 to 60 years with an annual family income of not more than Rs 48,000, will get Rs 600 per month.
Ladli scheme: An amount of 10 crore has been earmarked. Under the scheme, Rs 11,000 is deposited in the name of the girl child at birth and Rs 5,000 will be deposited in her account each time she enters Class I, VI, IX, after she passes Class X and on admission in Class XII. The entire benefit will be given on attaining 18 years.
Delhi Commission for Protection of Child rights: This is a new scheme. A state commission and children's courts would be set up for providing speedy trial of offences against children or of violation of child rights.
Supplementary nutrition programme: The Budget has an outlay of Rs 21.70 crore for the year 2008-09 for malnourished children, pregnant and nursing mothers. Around 5 lakh children and mothers are set to benefit from the scheme in the next financial year as the government plans to make it more effective.