Delhi budget stalled over MHA queries; AAP, LG trade charges | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented development that escalated the confrontation between Center and Delhi government to a new level, the second is that on Monday was mostly prevented by the Union Home Office from presenting its annual budget in Vidhan Sabha for queries on suggested spending on advertising and publicity for fiscal year 2023-24.
Sources in the central government say TOI that the MHA examined budgets showing that spending on advertising and publicity is higher than spending on initiatives such as infrastructure development and public welfare. “The Delhi government has requested clarification on the matter but has not yet received it,” a senior official said. TOI.
However, the Delhi government claims that the budget allocation for advertising and publicity remains the same as last year and it has proposed spending almost 40 times more on infrastructure development. “The concerns raised by the MHA are irrelevant and this appears to be done just to break the budget,” said Delhi finance minister Kailash Gahlot.


Although the MHA referred its observations to the Delhi government on March 17, Gahlot said in a statement that he only became aware of it at 2pm on March 20 and the official record was give it to him at 6 p.m.
He added that the responses to the MHA’s questions were sent to LG for approval within three hours, at 9pm, through the minister. Raj Niwas sources confirmed that LG VK Saxena approved his profile at 9.25pm ​​and sent it back to CM for him to send more to MHA. Once the interior ministry is satisfied with it, the budget, or annual financial report for 2023-24 as it is officially called, will be sent to the President for her approval before presenting it to the Delhi Council.
Clearly upset about the development, Premier Arvind Kejriwal said at an event hosted by a private news channel on Monday night that for the first time a state was unable to present its budget on a set date. .
“The Delhi budget cannot present tomorrow. For the first time in India’s history there was a case where the budget of the Delhi government was blocked by the central government from submitting it to the parliament just a day before,” Kejriwal alleged.
“Delhi government employees, doctors and teachers will not be paid. What is happening? This is goondagardi,” Kejriwal said, lashing out at Centre.
While the budget session kicked off on March 17 with LG’s keynote, the government tabulated the economic survey and released the budget results on Monday. The annual budget will be presented on Tuesday.
As a Union territory with a legislative assembly, the Delhi government must submit its annual budget to the home ministry for approval. Only after the MHA goes ahead can the budget be presented in the meeting.
Sources in LG’s office stated that the budget was approved by LG with certain observations on 9 March and sent to the minister and the MHA passed its observations to the Delhi government on 9 March. March 17th.
Gahlot, however, said he only learned of the development on Monday. “It is now known that the MHA has expressed some concerns about the Delhi government’s budget and refused to approve it through a letter addressed to the secretary general on 17 March 2023. For mysterious reasons, The secretary general hid the letter for three days, Gahlot said.
“I only learned about the letter at 2pm today, March 20, 2023. The file of the MHA letter was officially given to me only at 6pm today, which is only one days before the budget is presented in the financial statements. Delhi Council,” said the newly appointed finance minister, who will present his first budget.
Gahlot called for an investigation into the role of Delhi’s chief and finance secretary “in delaying Delhi’s budget”.
The MHA, in a letter to the chief secretary of the Delhi government, said that in the interest of the financial health of the Union (Delhi) territory, LG raised certain concerns. “Therefore, the Elderly Government of Delhi is required to review the concerns raised by LG and resubmit, address the concerns, in accordance with Section 27(1) and Section 30(1) of the Government. The NCT government of Delhi Act, 1991 (No. 1 1992), to take further action at this end,” the letter read.
Some constitutional experts argue that the Delhi government should not have announced the budget submission date until it received MHA’s approval.
“The finance minister of Delhi reads only the budget approved by the Union Home Ministry. Raising objections and asking for clarifications are part of the budget approval process. Unless the MHA announces the annual financial report to be presented to the lower house, the budgeting date should not be released,” said former Delhi Council secretary and constitutional expert SK Sharma.
However, Sharma added that there is no crisis and there is plenty of time for the Delhi government to present the budget to the lower house. “The budget could easily be passed before the end of the fiscal year,” he said.


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