Discussing his Budget for Delhi on Saturday with Delhi’s c representatives, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said one of the biggest challenges was to provide basic facilities of water and power at affordable rates to Delhiites.
The finance minister was speaking at ‘ Budget par charcha’ – an initiative of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit aimed at highlighting the “people-friendly” Budgets for the country and the national Capital by the party-led Central gover nment. Since Delhi is under President’s rule, the Budget for the Capital was presented by Jaitley in Parliament.
“We had inherited a paralysed economy from the previous government and we have tried to give the country the best possible Budget with growth opportunities,” said Jaitley.
“We believe in encouraging production and want to ensure that the Indian industry can compete with China globally. Rise in economic activity will by itself bring additional money to the government coffers. This is why we have allowed excise relief for small-scale industries raising the investment limit to ` 25 crores,” Jaitley said.
The finance minister said that he followed the same policy while framing the Budget for Delhi and, therefore, introduced no new taxes. “We have ensured through the Budget that 84% of small and middle-level consumers in Delhi get relief in electricity bills through special subsidy and soon with the efforts of Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Delhi may witness reduced tariff also,” the finance minister said.
He said despite major constraints the government has tried to give Delhi more hospital beds, ambulances and other healthcare facilities apart from a special Budget provision of about ` 3,000 crores for development of Delhi’s power, water, and sewerage infrastructure.