Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today pitched for a greater share of the taxes it pays to the Centre...
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today pitched for a greater share of the taxes it pays to the Centre, for the national capital, and said the state government was not at loggerheards with the Union government.
He said it is not just that the Centre gives money for the development of the national capital but Delhi also gives Rs 65,000 crore in terms of taxes to the Centre and in return gets only Rs 325 crore.
“There is a misconception that the Centre gives money for the development of Delhi. The Centre does not give (enough) money. Delhi contributes Rs 65,000 crore through the taxes collected by the Centre in the form of income and service taxes. But in return, Delhi gets only Rs 325 crore, which is wrong.
“If the Centre gives us a greater share, we will contribute more and take this Rs 65,00 crore to Rs 80,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore. This will increase economic activity in the city, ” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi chief minister, who was speaking at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event, also tried to downplay the tussle between the Centre and the state government.
“We are not at loggerheards. We don’t want to fight with anyone. Everyone has its own limits and rights. The Constitution has given responsibilities to everyone constituent. So, there will be a difference of opinion, which we will be sorted out.
“There is a technical hitch. The Finance Commission decides how much is to be allocated to states. Delhi is not included in terms of reference of the Finance Commission.
“We will write a letter to the Centre but you (media) will then say we are at loggerheards. But we are demanding our rights,” he said.
Asked to rate the peformance of the Narendra Modi-led government, Kejriwal initially refrained to comment but later said people gave their verdict during Delhi assembly polls.
“In a democracy, it’s people who assess the performance. Their performance was evident during Delhi assembly polls,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal also blamed the Centre for Delhi’s financial deficit Rs 4500 crore.
“When we left after 49 days in February (2104), the government was in profit of Rs 800 crore. When we took over in February (2015), we were in a loss of Rs 4500 crore. Obivioulsy, the Centre was ruling Delhi during the President’s rule,” he said.
Pitching for encouraging bureaucracy and boost revenue, Kejriwal said the state government will decide on the posts of Excise and VAT Commissioners on merit and will also give them performance allowance if they meet the revenue target.
“We are coming up with a circular to IAS and DANICS officers on who wants to become VAT and Excise Commissioners. The one who wants to become should tell us how much money they can generate for the financial year and also present a quaterly milestone.
“He should also present a blue print on how to collect the money and what changes they will make at policy level and to check tax evasion and what they need from the government to achieve the target. By this, first, we will get a lot of new ideas and we compile them,” Kejriwal said.
He said that the government will undertake appraisals every three months and the officer will not be transferred for a year and there will be no political interference in his work.
“And in one year if they achieve the target, we are keeping a hefty sum which will be given to him every month as performance allowance. Earn money in white than in black,” the chief minister said.
Kejriwal also asked the industry leaders to come up with ideas on various issues plaguing the city and making Delhi a modern and clean city for everyone.
“We have got five years. We cannot do it alone. There is a motive behind coming here (at the CII function). I want to create a new type of Delhi not only for the rich but all stratas of society. We have got five years to fulfill the dream. I want to invite you to join us,” he said.
Kejriwal also asked for suggestions and ideas on water recycling, cleaning of Yamuna, check on pollution, solid waste management, cleanliness, improvement of roads and transport.
In order to woo the industry, Kejriwal assured to make Delhi among the top five least corrupt cities along with ease of doing business.
The Delhi chief minister said that the government is also working on coming up with a policy on several issues like traffic, digging of roads and health schemes for senior citizens.
Talking about the wi-fi project, Kejriwal said that it was a “small dream” but it is an infinite business opportunity and the government will get money for having the internet services installed across the city.