Delhi in political limbo, Arun Jaitley wants 'political solution'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 1 2014, 01:37am hrs
The Centre today hoped that "some political solution" would emerge paving the way for formation of a popular government in Delhi as political parties questioned the delay in this regard and said it was hurting infrastructure in the national capital.

"I hope some political solution will come out to help in government formation or fresh elections will be held in Delhi," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while replying to a debate on the Delhi Budget in the Rajya Sabha. The Rs 36,766 crore Delhi Budget was returned by the Upper House by voice vote, a day after Lok Sabha passed it.

Delhi was placed under President's rule in February when AAP government quit after remaining in power for 49 days.

Jaitley was responding to Opposition's contention that the absence of a popular government in Delhi was affecting infrastructure, especially in power and drinking water supply.

Parties like Congress and SP wanted to know how long the President's rule would continue as they contended that this was affecting governance in the national capital.

To a suggestion on extending power subsidy to consumers from April to September this year, Jaitley said subsidies are only prospective and never retrospective.

"Subsidies are only prospective. They are never retrospective. No subsidy is ever retrospective. When you had the government at the Centre then, on April 1 you could have asked the then government for subsidy," Jaitley said replying to a query from Parvez Hashmi (Cong) on paying consumers subsidy from April.

Jaitley said power bills of 84 per cent of households in the capital will help pay less for power immediately as he promised better infrastructure, more hospitals and educational institutions for the national capital.

Noting that Delhi is a city of business, he said of the Rs 36,766 crore Delhi budget, Rs 31,570 crore was collected through taxes from Delhi alone and Rs 1,161 crore came from non-tax revenue while Central government's grant-in-aid for Delhi was to the tune of Rs 3,672 crore.

"Because of provisions in the central budget and this budget, 84 per cent households will get reduced power bills immediately," he said.

He said Delhi also has a considerable lower debt to GDP ratio of 7.93, indicating that it had less debt that many other states.

He said Delhi will have 1,380 more low floor and 400 cluster buses for slums. Besides, there will be cleaning of Yamuna and re-introduction of higher pension for over 4.3 lakh aged persons and more schools and hospitals.