The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi completes a month in office on Saturday. Hindustan Times caught up with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Friday to find out his views on the government’s achievements thus far and the challenges ahead. Excerpts from an interview:
How has been your experience so far? What do you think is your biggest achievement?
I think the decision related to the power and water subsidies has been the biggest achievement of the government as it helps the poor. My experience in office so far has been very good and we hope to continue working like this in the future too.
The government has taken decisions related to poor but issues such as the anti-corruption helpline and full statehood has not yet been taken up?
We are reviewing the anti-corruption helpline and will relaunch it once Arvind Kejriwal returns from Bengaluru. The executives are being trained to handle calls. We are also discussing the issue of full statehood with the Centre.
How is government going to curb corruption in various departments?
Our focus will be on technology to curb corruption. Various certificates, such as caste and birth, issued by the Delhi government will be made online by April 1. The government has already put stamp vendor licences online from February 23.
The government is making changes in the license process of public distribution system shops by introducing a temporary licensing facility. Ration cards can now be applied for and obtained online so that people can take a simple printout instead of having to bribe officials for their cards.
Women safety was one of the major poll promises. What is the government’s plan to ensure safety of women?
We have asked Delhi Police to provide us with a list of dark spots. Once we get the list, women safety squads will be deployed in those areas. The merger of homeguard and civil defence members is on cards. To start with, marshals are being deployed in all DTC buses from 6pm to 12 midnight.
The government had promised a lot for the traders. How are you planning to bring about a more business friendly environment?
In the cabinet meeting today (on Friday), we have approved the amendment to VAT (Value Added Tax) Act to allow the carry forward of input tax credit for traders. This demand had been raised in past and we decided to review it. Traders in the national capital were forced to claim refund before the end of each financial year but once the amendment is passed in the assembly, it will allow the traders to carry forward their credit for the successive financial years.