The Delhi budget will be presented today after days of back-and-forth between the Centre and the AAP government. The Home Ministry approved the Delhi Budget yesterday after initially objecting to certain allocations for infrastructure, advertisements
Here are 10 facts on the big story:
The Delhi budget was cleared by the Centre on Tuesday evening after a clarification from the Aam Aadmi Party government, paving the way for its presentation in the Assembly.
The budget was scheduled to be presented in the assembly on Tuesday, but the Centre had asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to resend the Budget after addressing concerns flagged by the Lieutenant Governor.
The AAP government was asked to explain the high allocation to advertisements and the relatively low funds assigned to infrastructure and other development initiatives, according to sources.
Denying the charges, finance minister Kailash Gahlot, who will table the budget in the Delhi Assembly today, had said of the Rs 78,800 crore budget, Rs 22,000 crore was earmarked for infrastructure and Rs 550 crore on advertisements.
Speaking in the assembly yesterday, Arvind Kejriwal called the Centre’s objections unconstitutional and groundless. The Delhi Chief Minister claimed that the budget had been approved “without any change” and questioned the practice of sending it to the Centre for clearance.
The BJP alleged that the Delhi government sat on the clarifications sought for three days and then blamed the Centre for gaining “cheap publicity”.
BJP allegations about AAP misuse of public funds for advertisements have been a recurring event since 2015.
In 2021, even Union Home Minister Amit Shah had taken a dig at AAP, saying of the two political cultures in the country, one is the silent worker and the other is “karo ya na karo, advertisements do, TV interviews do. (Just give advertisements even if you don’t do anything and give interviews to TV news channels)”.
In December last year, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had ordered that AAP reimburse the government 163.62 crore it illegally spent on advertisements. The recovery notice, issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity, had triggered a huge political row.
Then Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had pointed out that advertisements of BJP chief ministers are published in Delhi’s newspapers too. “Will BJP also recover money from them,” he had questioned.
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