Thursday, June 17, 2010

Delhi gets Rs 200 crore extra pocket money

The Capital got more money for this financial year than what it asked for, courtesy the Commonwealth Games.

The Planning Commission on Wednesday approved the city's annual plan of Rs 11,400 crore, Rs 200 crore more than what Delhi had asked for.

"We have got more money for urban infrastructure under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission," Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters after the meeting.

She said a big chunk of the increased allocation would be used for completing pending transport projects before the Commonwealth Games this October. Delhi had made a presentation on its transport plans for the Games and its progress.

But the capital's revenue problems may aggravate, as property tax collection has not increased as anticipated. Property tax collected in 2008-09 was Rs 1,063 crore and in this financial year the government estimates to collect Rs 1,158 crore.

Dikshit suggested that the Resident Welfare Associations can be authorised to collect property tax and can get some commission for the job. This, the CM said, can widen the tax collection net, which at present covers only 30 per cent of the residents.

But the problem before the CM is that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, led by the BJP at present, controls property tax collection. Dikshit suggested that a framework could be brought to "institutionalise the system".

Besides, some Planning Commission members said most of the Delhi government policies favoured the rich. Sayeeda Hamid, a member, suggested that in the 12th five-year plan, Delhi should emphasise on policies for the poor.

The comments came in wake of Planning Commission's Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia saying
infant mortality rate in Delhi was high.

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