The Delhi Budget 2023 will be tabled in the assembly on Wednesday after the home ministry approved it ending the impasse between the AAP government and the Centre following a clarification from the Delhi government. However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the Centre alleging it had stalled it for ego satisfaction, reported news agency PTI.
Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot will present the Budget for the first time since he took charge of the finance portfolio. Kejriwal informed the budget, which will now be presented on Wednesday, had been approved “without any change” as he questioned the practice of sending it to the Centre for clearance.
The Budget document was scheduled to be tabled on Tuesday but got delayed after the MHA sought clarification on the allocation of funds for infrastructure and advertisements from the AAP government.
The BJP on Tuesday alleged that the Kejriwal dispensation sat on the clarifications sought by the Ministry of Home Affairs for three days and then blamed the Centre for gaining “cheap publicity”.
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Speaking in the Assembly, Kejriwal alleged that the Centre’s objection was a departure from tradition and an attack on the Constitution. “The Delhi government wants to work and not fight. We are tired of fighting and it serves no one. We want to work together with the prime minister, we do not want any tussle,” the chief minister said. The CM informed that the Centre had raised four queries.
“We replied to them without any other change in the budget. Now, they have given approval to it which proves that their ego was satisfied that the Delhi government bowed down,” Kejriwal said.
On the objection raised by the Centre and LG office that the budget 2023-24 had higher a provision for advertisement and relatively lower for infrastructure, the AAP supremo said that “uneducated” people were posted from top to bottom.
“They said advertisement allocation was higher than that for infrastructure. Uneducated people have been sitting from top to bottom. Which is more – Rs 20,000 crore for infrastructure or Rs 500 crore for advertisement?” said the chief minister in the Assembly.
However, the CM expressed satisfaction over the MHA’s approval, saying “better late than never” and argued what was the need to create an issue over it.
Kejriwal also asserted that the Lt Governor has no power “to raise any objections, make observations or write anything on a file”, as he was bound by the aid and advice of the Cabinet of the elected government.
Earlier in the day, the CM appealed to the prime minister through a letter.