Delhi budget likely to bring relief to middle class


Manish Sisodia’s portfolio is expected to bring some relief for the middle class as products such as shoes, ready-made garments, watches, upholstery and marble tiles are likely to become cheaper in the coming year also allocating more money for public transport, especially to purchase 1,000 new air-conditioned buses.

The Arvind Kejriwal government is set to propose a reduction of value added tax (VAT) on common items. The tax on dining  in restaurants and bars is unlikely to change but eatables such as sweets and sour items may become cheaper.

Some products, those that interest middle and high income groups, are likely to get cheaper as VAT rate is being revised from 12.5% to 5%. “The government has decided to rationalise the price-based tax slabs and bring certain items under the same category,” a senior Delhi government official said.

Sisodia is also likely to allocate 25 per cent of the total budget allocation to education sector. “He will focus on training programmes and physical infrastructure for educational institutions this year,” said a government official.

In the 2015-16 budget, the government had allocated Rs 9,836 crore for the education sector out of which Rs 4,570 crore was given under the plan outlay, which was an increase of around 106%.

In the health sector, the government is going to provide funds for organising their flagship public meetings. Money will be allocated for 3,000 mohalla sabhas, where locals will have a say in deciding civic projects in their areas, said officials.

The government is also expected to set aside Rs 50 crore for Aam Aadmi Canteens, based their model on Tamil Nadu’s highly-subsidised Amma canteens, to provide nutritious food to migrant workers in the national capital.

“If the Centre does not give nod to the city government’s bills at the earliest, there is no benefit of tabling new bills and sending them to it for approval,” Sisodia had said. The State Government will not bring any new Bill during the session as it awaiting Centre’s incline for 14 bills passed by the Delhi Assembly in last year. The budget meet will end by March 31st.