New infra projects likely to be focus of Delhi Budget in 2023
The Delhi assembly’s Budget session is scheduled to begin on Friday with an address by lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena
The theme of the Delhi Budget is likely to be infrastructure development with the government expected to announce at least 30 new projects, including double-decker flyovers, underpasses and bridges, in a bid to decongest the Capital, officials aware of the matter said on Thursday.
“The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government wants to upgrade and beautify 1,400km of the entire public works department (PWD) road network. Around ₹20,000 crore over a period of 10 years will be spent for the entire project. The government has completed 28 flyovers/underpasses till date now, and another 30 major projects including flyover, underpasses, bridges will be constructed by the Arvind Kejriwal government. Three unique double decker flyovers will also be constructed in Delhi. On these double decker structures, vehicles will ply on the lower deck and Metro will run on the upper deck,” said a senior official who asked not to be named.
Since coming to power in 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party has presented the state Budget on particular themes, such as Green Budget (2018), Deshbhakti Budget (2021) and Rozgar Budget (2022). Officials said this year, the focus of the Budget could be public infrastructure.
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“Plans to beautify and modernise Delhi’s infrastructure is likely to be the main focus of Budget 2023-24, and the it may have the biggest outlay for capital expenditure on infrastructure projects in the last eight years of Arvind Kejriwal government,” said an official who asked not to be named.
According to 2022-23 Budget estimates, the capital expenditure was ₹22,113 crore -- 29% of the total expenditure. Since 2015, the largest outlay has been reserved for education, followed by health.
In the 2022-23 budget, 22% of the total Budget was allocated to education, and 13% was allocated for health.
The Delhi assembly’s Budget session is scheduled to begin on Friday with an address by lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena. After the weekend recess, the government is likely to table the Economic Survey report and the Outcome Budget — an assessment of the government performance in achieving targets set for projects in key sectors such as education -- on Monday. The Budget is expected to be presented next Tuesday, the officials said.
After the meeting of the business advisory committee on Thursday, an assembly official said the session will begin at 11am with the LG’s address. After the LG’s address, the fifth report of business advisory committee will be presented, after which election of financial committees will take place. “CM Arvind Kejriwal will move a motion to elect nine members to serve as Members of the Committee on Public Accounts, Committee on Estimates and Committee on Government Undertakings beginning April 1, 2023,” the official said.
The election has been necessitated due to the elevation of Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi, who were part of these committees, to the cabinet.
This will be the first time that Manish Sisodia will not be presenting the AAP government’s Budget since 2015 when the party stormed to power in Delhi. Sisodia resigned after he was arrested last Sunday in connection with a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi excise policy 2021-22.
Kailash Gahlot, who has been given the additional charge of the finance department, is expected to present the Budget on Tuesday.
The Budget session is expected to be stormy with the leader of the opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Ramvir Singh Bidhuri saying on Thursday that he has submitted a notice to the assembly secretary, demanding that he be allowed to move a motion to seek resignation of chief minister Kejriwal over corruption allegations against his government.
“The BJP has decided to bring a no-confidence motion in the upcoming assembly session. The AAP government is facing allegations in the liquor scam, irregularities in classrooms construction, snooping on rivals, among many others,” Bidhuri said after a meeting of the BJP legislature party.