The Delhi government proposes to build 14 new bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors, six new flyovers and an underpass to make a 20-km stretch of the Outer Ring Road signal-free. Besides, there will be a 21-km corridor connecting east and west Delhi.
These are among the key proposals of Delhi’s budget for 2011-2012 presented by the Sheila Diskhit government on Tuesday.
Presenting the budget for the first time in the 12 years she has been at the helm in Delhi, Dikshit, however, said her government has decided to discourage people from buying new cars and has increased the registration fees on diesel-run vehicles.
“We can’t control registration of vehicles. Diesel also causes pollution. As a disincentive, we have increased registration fee on diesel vehicles. If at all people buy new cars, they should buy petrol cars,” Dikshit said.
With the aim of encouraging more people to use bicycles, the government has exempted them from value-added tax. “Almost 70% of the total vehicular population is still constituted of cyclists. VAT exemption on bicycles will directly benefit the aam aadmi,” Dikshit said. With the Commonwealth Games over, the government’s focus has now shifted from infrastructure to the social sector.
Not only has the government increased the budgetary allocation for social security and welfare schemes, public health and housing for the poor, it has also announced a string of new programmes to benefit the poor strata of society.
Health insurance coverage for the economically weaker sections, R1,000 scholarships for students up to class 8 from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and minority communities are among the other highlights of the budget.There are also substantial incentives for aanganwadi workers and new houses for economically weaker sections are some projects that the government proposes to undertake.
“The social sector is one area our government had not been able to reach out to satisfactorily. But our focus has now shifted to the social sector, especially health, education and skill development,” Dikshit said.