Education, transport, infrastructure likely to be Delhi budget thrust areas

Despite no control over land and police, Delhi has succeeded remarkably: Sheila Dikshit

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, preparing for her last budget before Delhi's assembly elections later this year, hinted at focussing on education, transport and infrastructure in the coming fiscal.

Following her address to the Delhi cabinet, Assembly Speaker and senior bureaucrats on completing 14 years as the head of the Delhi government, Dikshit remained tightlipped about the Delhi budget. The budget session will begin on March 16.

"I cannot divulge any details, but our focus in recent times has remained education, transport and infrastructure. As in previous budgets, the social sector will also be given due weight," Dikshit said.

According to the Chief Minister, education was a priority for the government.

"Everyone wants a good education these days and the government will do its best to support this. The health sector, including hospitals and family welfare, are the other areas that need constant improvement," she said.

Dikshit said the induction of more buses into the transport system and the construction of roads, flyovers and bridges to ease traffic were also high on the priority list.

In the last budget, Dikshit, who also holds the finance portfolio, had sanctioned 65 per cent of the plan outlay for the social sector.

"I am satisfied with the implementation of schemes we announced last year. However, implementation of the Annashree Yojna and the kerosene-free Delhi scheme have been held up. But this is only because it is linked to Aadhar-enabled cash-transfers. I am sure it will improve soon as enrolment for Aadhar numbers increase," Dikshit said.

In her address earlier in the day, Dikshit lauded the bureaucracy and referred to the December 16 gangrape.

"Despite no control over land and police, Delhi has succeeded remarkably. The bureaucracy has always been there to take up challenges efficiently, and, being an emerging city, our planning should take care of its future needs," Dikshit said.

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