‘Biggest proof of honesty’: Kejriwal, Sisodia hail CAG report on surplus revenue
A day after disclosing an audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, which stated that Delhi has been recording a revenue surplus since 2015, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the numbers are the “biggest proof” of the Aam Aadmi Party’s “honesty”.
“They [CAG] have said that ever since the Aam Aadmi Party government formed in Delhi, the government has been running in profit. This is the biggest proof of the honesty of the Aam Aadmi Party government. This honesty isn’t letting our opponents sleep in peace,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the Kejriwal-government has been able to keep the national capital a revenue surplus state because of “honest politics”. “This is the ‘Kejriwal Model of governance’. When every state government is facing a huge revenue deficit, it’s only and only the Arvind Kejriwal government that is in running revenue surplus since 2015. Honest politics brings prosperity,” he tweeted.
Sisodia presented the 2021 CAG report on state finances, for the financial year ending March 2020, in the Delhi assembly on Tuesday.
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The report stated that Delhi’s revenue surplus in 2019-20 was ₹7,499 crore, indicating that revenue receipts of the government were sufficient to meet the revenue expenditure. The revenue surplus stood at 0.88% of GSDP (gross state domestic product) in 2019-20 against 0.81% in 2018-19.
However, the CAG pointed out that Delhi has been able to maintain a revenue surplus because certain expenditures are covered by the Centre. “The NCT of Delhi has been able to maintain a revenue surplus largely on account of pension liabilities of GNCTD employees being borne by the government of India. In addition, expenditure of Delhi Police is also borne by the ministry of home affairs,” the CAG report stated.
The report further declared that Delhi’s revenue expenditure increased by 50.47% from ₹26,343 crore in 2015-16 to ₹39,637 crore in 2019-20. The same amount increased by 7.56% from ₹36,852 crore in 2018-19 to ₹39,637 crore in 2019-20. The share of committed expenditure in total revenue expenditure ranged from 34.41% to 35.81% over the last five years.
Factoring in the subsidies provided by the Delhi government on electricity, water, bus rides, etc., the CAG stated, “Expenditure on subsidies increased from ₹1,867.61 crore in 2015-16 to ₹3,592.94 crore in 2019-20 (92.38%). In 2019-20, the expenditure on subsidies increased by 41.85% over the previous year. Financial assistance to local bodies and others increased by 7.59% from ₹15,087.22 crore in 2018-19 to ₹16,232.97 crore in 2019-20.”
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