The Centre today allocated Rs 758 crore to Delhi for financial year 2017-18 while the share in central taxes and duties for the national capital remained unchanged despite the AAP government’s continuous demand for an increase. The Union government has given Rs 412.99 crore as central assistance to the city government in the Union Budget for 2017-18 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Rs 15 crore has also been allocated by the Centre to the AAP government for paying enhanced compensation to the 1984 riot victims. Apart from this, the grant for the Delhi Disaster Response Fund remained unchanged with an allocation of Rs 5 crore. In the previous budget, the Centre allocated a total of Rs 758 crore to the city administration, but later increased the amount to Rs 818 crore in revised estimate budget by raising the amount for enhanced compensation from Rs 15 to 75 crore for the 1984 Sikh riot victims.
Reacting to the budget presented by Jaitley, the Kejriwal government said that not a single rupee has been enhanced in the Union Budget 2017-18 for it by the Centre.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that Delhi has been deprived of its due from central share in this year’s budget too. In the budget, Delhi’s share in central taxes has been kept at Rs 325 crore, static since 2001-02, though the Kejriwal government had demanded that it be raised to Rs 5,000 crore.
“We had requested the Government of India a number of times to enhance the allocation to at least Rs 5,000 crore as share in central taxes as against Rs 325 crore being released to NCT of Delhi. “The Budget of NCT of Delhi has increased from Rs 8,739 crore in the year 2001-02 to Rs 46,600 crore in 2016-17, whereas the share in central taxes has remained frozen at Rs 325 crore since 2001-02,” Delhi government said in a statement.
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It said other states were, however, getting share in central taxes every year based on the annual increase in collection of central taxes. Last month, at a pre-budget meeting, Sisodia had raised the issue that the Centre “treated” Delhi as a Union Territory for payment of share in Central Taxes and as a State, when 100 per cent central funding of Centrally Sponsored Schemes to Union Territory comes into the picture.
AAP government had requested to increase the central assistance to at least Rs 1,000 crore in the current year Revised Estimate and Rs 1,500 crore in 2017-18 Budget Estimate.