No new taxes in Delhi's Rs.37,450 crore budget
New Delhi, March 20 : With an eye to the Delhi assembly elections scheduled later this year, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Wednesday presented a Rs.37,450 crore budget for the 2013-14 fiscal with no fresh taxes.
The budget allots Rs.16,000 crore for plan expenditure, Rs.21,000 crore for non-plan expenditure, and Rs.450 crore for centrally sponsored schemes.
Like last year, 65 percent has been earmarked for social sector with a total proposed outlay of Rs.10,359 crore.
In a populist move, the government has not proposed any fresh taxes while various commodities have been exempted from the tax net.
While there will be no tax on chilly spray used for woman's self defence, pencil boxes and geometry boxes, organic colours, rock salt, singhada (water-chestnut) and kuttu (buck-wheat) flour have also been exempted.
Footwear priced up to Rs.500 has been exempted from Valued Added Tax (VAT).
Taxes on various other products have been slashed.
The VAT on desi ghee (purified butter) has been reduced from 12.5 percent to 5 percent. Taxes on LED lights have been slashed.
Rs.30,454 crore is expected to be generated from the tax collection.
Presenting the budget in the assembly, Dikshit said the fiscal deficit would be reduced from Rs.2,921 crore in 2012-13 to Rs.1,268 crore in 2013-14.
For pension schemes of senior citizens, differently abled people and for women in distress, the monthly pension amount has been increased from Rs.1,000 to Rs.1,500.
Transgenders or eunuchs living in the capital for the last three years will get a monthly grant of Rs.1,000, the chief minister announced
Stating that the national capital has seen "phenomenal" and "unprecedented" development, Dikshit said Delhi registered a nine percent growth rate against the national average of five percent.
"We have taken path-breaking initiatives. Six new universities were established in Delhi. We have increased the capacities of hospitals from 24,025 to about 43,500 while other facilities have also been improved," she said.
The lion's share in allocations has gone to the transport department, which has been pegged at Rs.3,876 crore, accounting for 24.23 percent of the total approved outlay.
Medical and public health facilities have been allocated Rs.2,490 crore, 15.56 percent of the gross budget.
The water sector, which has been a thorn in the flesh of the Congress government, has been allocated Rs.1,665 crore.
For urban development, Rs.1,840 has been allocated, 11.50 percent of the planned outlay.
The chief minister said that the capital contributes 3.8 per cent to the national GDP and the per capita income is three times higher than the national average.