Govt to keep its focus on health & edu in Budget
New Delhi: In it's fourth consecutive budget scheduled in last week of February, AAP-led Delhi government will focus on health and education sectors, a senior Finance Department official said. "This time again, our focus in the budget (2019-20) will be on health and education sectors," he said. Certain new things will also be added in the budget, added the official. The Delhi Cabinet has recommended seven-day Budget session, starting February 22.
In the previous budget, the Delhi government had allocated Rs 6,729 crore for the health sector, 12.7 per cent of the total budget outlay, and Rs 13,997 crore (26 per cent) for the education sector, which is 26 per cent of the total budget. In financial year 2017-2018, 23.5 percent of the total budget amount was allocated for the education sector. In the first financial budget 2015- 16, the AAP government had doubled the allocation for education . The government's total budget for the current fiscal year was estimated at Rs 41,129 crore. This included plan expenditure of Rs 19,000 crore and Rs 22,129 crore of non-plan expenditure.
When the party came to power, there were 24,000 classrooms across the over 1,000 Delhi government schools. In its first phase of construction work to expand schools, 8,000 new classrooms were constructed. On Monday, construction work on another 11,000 new rooms was flagged off. Deputy Chief Delhi government directorate of education official stated that construction will begin for another 1,748 classrooms, so that by the end of 2018 year, 12,748 new classrooms will be in place.
When Arvind Kejriwal government had come into power in February, 2015, students/parents got major relief as the government has ordered 575 private schools in Delhi to refund the excess fees charged between June 2016 to January 2018. Moreover, the private schools have been asked to refund the amount with 9 per cent interest. "The committee has identified 575 schools in its report to refund excess fees charged by these schools with 9 per cent interest. The schools are directed to refund the fees within seven days and ensure disbursal of pending payment of salaries if any," an order by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said report.
The Mohalla Clinic project has been widely praised, including by the late Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister and a former Director-General of World Health Organisation. Another former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, along with Brundtland visited some clinics last year and were "deeply impressed" by it. The Delhi government was providing health care services through primary, secondary and tertiary facilities out of which the primary care is delivered through dispensaries, secondary health care through multi-speciality hospitals and tertiary health care services through super-speciality hospitals. Funds were also allocated to curb air pollution in the city.