NEW DELHI -- The Aam Aadmi Party-government in Delhi today presented its first budget, calling it the"country's first Swaraj budget," a document with crowdsourced ideas on how to spend and allocate the city's resources. The party had held public consultations prior to the budget speech by finance minister Manish Sisodia today.
While presenting the budget on Thursday, Sisodia, also the deputy chief minister, said that the government received at least 1,500 suggestions, and discussions with residents had some unusual outcomes. "I thought people would ask for roads or fixing sewers but people said make a library," he said.
The Delhi government presented a Rs41,129 crore budget, which included Rs253 crore for the "Swaraj Nidhi" to be dispensed in accordance the demands of people. Money allocated for education increased by 106% to Rs9,836 crores, the highest share in the budget, followed by Rs5,085 crore for transport and Rs4,787 crore for health.
Sisodia said the biggest benefit for the youth from this budget is the creation of one lakh jobs and free Wi-Fi.
Here are 10 highlights of the AAP budget:
1) Goal to bring about 100 percent literacy in the next two years, emphasis on "value and skill" in schools, 20,000 new teachers will be recruited, accountability to be increased by installing CCTV in all classrooms.
2) Loans up to Rs10 lakh will be made available to any student who wants to pursue higher education. Girls will get the loan at 1% lesser interest rate.
3) Free Wi-Fi in all colleges and villages at the cost of Rs50 crores.
4) Improving last mile connectivity through the use of e-rickshaws in the capital: 24,000 people have been trained, Rs15,000 subsidy for each rickshaw.
5) CCTV cameras and marshals will be deployed in all DTC and cluster buses to improve women's safety. GPS will be installed in all public modes of transports at the cost of Rs160 crores. Six new hostels for working women.
6) Compensation of Rs1 crore will be given to the families of personnel serving in the Delhi police, home guard, civil defence who are killed in the line of duty.
7) Yamuna River will be cleaned in the next five years so that it can become a spot of "boating and picnics". Installing 15 new sewage treatment plants to reduce pollutants flowing into the river.
8) Introducing a single-window clearance system to facilitate "ease of doing business".
9) Plant 12 lakh trees to improve environment.
10) Fight vehicular traffic by digitising the procedure of getting a pollution certificate so that false permits cannot be obtained. Proposal to tax heavy-polluting vehicles coming into Delhi in the night.