Subsidy will not reduce price: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Jan 1 : Launching an attack against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's free water supply, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley Wednesday said subsidies do not reduce prices, but use tax payer's money for it.

He also claimed that the weakest sections of society were still missing the benefits.

"The water subsidy has completely ignored the weakest section of Delhi. The poorest of the Delhi have been kept out of the water subsidy scheme," Jaitley said on his blog Wednesday.

"Subsidies are an unquantified amount given to unidentifiable section of people... It maintains the existing rates and tariffs. It only uses the tax payers money to subsidize a section. The more you subsidize, the more you will have to eventually raise the taxes," said the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha.

In line with the Aam Aadmi Party's poll promises, Kejriwal first announced 666 litres of free water to each household per day, and then announced 50 percent subsidy on power tariff for those consuming up to 400 units of electricity.

"Through subsidization a government thinks of the short term gains. It leaves a debt for tomorrow," Jaitley said.

He also said the real challenge was to connect those who were outside the water supply system.

He also said that "laying down pipelines in every locality", and "installation of taps in every house" can only be provided by a "healthy board and not a financially vulnerable DJB".

"This subsidy ignores the weakest and includes a small layer of people with metered consumption".

The BJP leader further pointed out that out of 18 lakh water connections in Delhi, only 8.5 lakh have functional meters.

--IANS (Posted on 01-01-2014)

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