Budget session: AAP to woo poor ahead of MCD polls

The five-day Budget session of the Delhi Assembly, beginning tomorrow, will be an occasion for the AAP to shore up its pro-poor credentials ahead of the municipal polls.

The session will also see a first in the form of an 'outcome Budget', where the government will put out the expected outcome of expenditure under specific heads.

It will begin with the address of Lt Governor Anil Baijal, his first after assuming office last December.

The opposition BJP has also geared itself up to corner the government over its "unfulfilled promises". It has accused the government of "building castles in the air".

Like last year, education and health sectors are likely to take big chunk of the Budget with around 25 per cent of the total allocation likely to be set aside for education.

"The government has woven beautiful dreams in the pre-budget addresses. This is in keeping with its old practice as reflected in the last two budgets," Leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta said.

The government is also likely to allocate Rs 350 crore as Swaraj Fund in the Budget, although it has not been able to use an equal amount under the same head as the proposal to constitute mohalla sabhas still awaits the Lt Governor's approval.

The proposal to create these hyper-local bodies, with the stated objective of decentralizing governance, still awaits the nod of the Lt Governor.

"All development work was to be implemented through participation of public at grassroot level. A fund of Rs 253 crore was earmarked for it. During his second budget speech last year, allocation of Rs 350 crore was earmarked for it.

"But till this day the mohalla sabhas have not seen the light of the day. The government promised participatory budget is nowhere to be seen," Gupta said.
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