Delhi residents will pay less for power, with Union finance minister Arun Jaitley Friday proposing subsidy for majority of consumers in the city’s 2014-15 budget that also focused on women's security and transport.
The Rs. 36,776-crore budget, which kept tax rates unchanged, was presented in Parliament. It also promised a new multi-specialty hospital, 100 ambulances for accident victims and 500 water ATMs.
The budget, normally presented in the state assembly, had to be taken up by the Union finance minister as Delhi is under President's Rule.
His Rs. 260-crore subsidy proposal, which came a day after the regulator increased the tariff but offset the hike by withdrawing a surcharge, will further bring down power bills of around 75% of the Delhi’s 410,000 domestic consumers.
Those consuming up to 200 units of will see their bills go down by almost 30%. For instance, after Thursday’s revision they were to pay Rs. 907 but once the subsidy kicks in, they would only pay Rs. 648. Similarly, those consuming 400 units will pay Rs. 2,268 against Rs. 2,613. The government also allocated Rs. 200 crore for strengthening the transmission lines to improve power supply.
In the run-up to the polls, the BJP had promised to bring down domestic power bills by 30%. The BJP-led government also increased budgetary allocation for power by almost 32% compared to the last fiscal.
To address issue of women's safety, Jaitley proposed more toilets for slum clusters and doubled the allocation to Rs. 35 crore. The minister also promised six hostels for working women.
HT has been writing how lack of safe public toilets in slums was putting women and children at risk. As many as 184 children were sexually assaulted in northwest Delhi while relieving themselves in the open.
A multi-speciality hospital has been planned for south Delhi and a medical college for Rohini in north-west. Fifty dialysis centres will be set up across the city and will treat the poor for free.
The Centre also announced setting up of 500 water ATMs, allowing people to buy safe drinking water at a nominal cost.
To improve public transport system, 1,380 semi-low floor buses will be added to the DTC fleet. Inter-state bus terminuses at Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar will be upgraded and a number of intersections with one-way flyover would be converted into dual carriageways, the minister announced.
Highlights of the budget:
# Power subsidy of Rs. 260 crore for the domestic consumers
# 110 new ambulance will be added to the Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) fleet
# A multi-speciality hospital planned for south Delhi
# One stop centres for crisis management and rehabilitation of victims of sexual assault to come up in every district
# A new school of planning, architecture and design will be set up in east Delhi.
# Six working women's hostels to come up across Delhi
# The budget to build toilets in slum clusters has been doubled from Rs. 17 crore to Rs. 35 crore
# Seven more night shelters to be built for homeless
# Rs. 711 crore allotted for basic facilities in unauthorised colonies
# About 500 water ATMs to be set up to end the problem of drinking water
# The government to take help of national and international technical experts for Yamuna cleaning
# 1380 semi-low floor buses to be added to the existing fleet of DTC