Central Government Seeks Clarification on Delhi Budget
In a major blow to the Delhi government, the Center has ‘stopped’ the Arvind Kejriwal government from presenting the Delhi Budget on its scheduled date.
In an event organized by News18 India, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said-“You will be shocked. This has never happened before in the history of the country. The Delhi Budget has to be presented in the Delhi Assembly tomorrow morning. The Centre has stopped the Delhi Budget from being presented. The Budget will not come tomorrow morning. Delhi government employees will not get paid, doctors, teachers will not be paid.”
Kailash Ghalot, Finance Minister for the Delhi Government gives the following chronology while explaining why the Budget is not being tabled as planned.
“10 Mar: Sent the budget to the Center
17 Mar: Center sent Query to Chief Secretary
20 Mar: We came to know at 6 pm, we sent the file after getting the CM approved at 9 pm.
21 Mar: No information yet
I have not seen a bigger unconstitutional act than this.”
चुनी हुई सरकार को Budget पेश नहीं करने दिया जा रहा
10 Mar: केंद्र को बजट भेजा
17 Mar: केंद्र ने Query मुख्य सचिव को भेजी
20 Mar: शाम 6pm हमें पता लगा, हमने 9pm CM से File Approve करा कर भेजी
21 Mar: अभी तक कोई सूचना नहीं
इससे बड़ा Unconstitutional Act मैंने नहीं देखा
— Aam Aadmi Party Delhi (@AAPDelhi) March 21, 2023
MP Raghav Chadha says, “It is happening for the first time in 75 years that the Central government is stopping the budget of the government elected by the people of Delhi.”
In a letter to PM Modi, CM Arvind Kejriwal writes- “Why are you angry with us Delhiites? Please don’t stop the Delhi budget”
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What is the process of presenting the Delhi Budget?
The Delhi government, like any other state government in India, follows a standard procedure for tabling the annual budget. The process usually begins with the collection of data related to the state’s revenue and expenditure for the previous year. Based on this data, the government prepares a draft budget, which includes estimates of income and expenditure for the upcoming fiscal year. The draft budget is then reviewed by the finance department and other relevant departments to ensure that it aligns with the government’s policies and priorities. After this, the draft budget is presented to the state cabinet for approval. Once the cabinet approves the budget, it is sent to the Lieutenant Governor for review and approval. The budget is then sent to the MHA for clearance, which sends it to the President for approval, and only then can it be tabled and presented.
Why has the Delhi Budget been ‘stopped’?
According to a report by Hindustan Times, an official source said- “The Kejriwal government has doubled the expenditure on publicity in two years despite spending half of it, on which the LG has asked for a justification. The LG also sought clarification on not giving the benefits of other central schemes like Ayushman Bharat to the poor people of Delhi, where all funds came from the Central government since Delhi was a Union territory (UT).”
All is not good for AAP
After the arrest of Manish Sisodia, the former Finance Minister in the Kejriwal Government, this would be the first budget presented without him. Even during his arrest, it was anticipated that his absence would likely impact the Delhi Budget. And the Center stopping the budget presentation is a massive blow to Kejriwal’s Government.
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