If the government’s current financial position is taken into account, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will find it really difficult to fulfill its major poll promises of providing new buses, schools, colleges and WiFi.
The situation becomes even more alarming as the government has decided to set aside approximately Rs. 1,677 crore to provide subsidised power and free water supply to Delhiites.
This figure is likely to go up if the regulator hikes power rates in June as the government will have to increase the subsidy amount to offset the imbalance.
The government is already short of meeting its revenue target of Rs. 31,571 crore for the financial year 2014-15 with sources saying it is unlikely to meet the goal as only a month remains for the fiscal to close.
In fact, the government has been missing its target for the past few years. It had set a target of Rs. 30,454 crore for 2013-14 but could collect only Rs. 27,075 crore.
“All these schemes announced by the Aam Aadmi Party will require a lot of funds. Though it has five years to roll out the schemes, these are dependant on revenue collection,” said a senior Delhi government official.
The Value Added Tax (VAT) department missed its target by 16 per cent. Against Rs. 19,500 crore, it was able to collect Rs. 18,200 crore in 2013-14. For this financial year, the government had revised the target to Rs. 21,000 crore.
Senior Delhi government officials said the government was aware of the scenario and that is why chief minister Arvind Kejriwal kept an ambitious target of Rs. 30,000 crore for VAT. “The chief minister has asked the VAT commissioner to submit his plan on how the department will generate this revenue,” said an official.
Delhi government officials have been asked to prepare a detailed action plan outlining the priority areas for the government that needs immediate attention and funds will be allocated accordingly.