Delhi Budget approved by MHA, say LG office sources

| | New Delhi
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Delhi Budget approved by MHA, say LG office sources

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 | PTI | New Delhi

Delhi Budget approved by MHA, say LG office sources

The Delhi government's Budget was approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs and it has been conveyed to the AAP dispensation, sources in the lieutenant governor's office said on Tuesday, amid a row over the issue between the Centre and the city government.

They also accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his ministers and the Aam Admi Party of "deliberately making false statements with the sole purpose of misleading the people of Delhi and the media and distracting them from the failures of the AAP government".

"He has been saying that the Centre has blocked a State's Budget. This is patently false. Delhi is a Union Territory and not a State and therefore it is fully a part and partial of the Government of India. Moreover, the Budget has not been blocked," said a source in the LG office.

The AAP has alleged that the Centre has conspired to stop the budget of Delhi, with Kejriwal even writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to not stop the budget.

The LG office source explained the Constitution provides that previous consent and approval of the President of India is required before laying the Budget of Delhi in the Legislative Assembly and this has been going on for the past 28 years without fail.

"Fixing the date for presentation of Budget before seeking the President's approval for the Budget, in itself is wrong and shows mal-intent on part of the AAP government.

"The chief minister was aware that the LG has approved the financial statement and made certain observations since March 9, when the LG secretariat sent the file to him. However, none of the concerns raised by LG were addressed, this way or the other," the source alleged.

The party has alleged that the salaries of employees will be stopped if budget is not tabled.

Rebutting these allegations, the source said people were misled from a media platform that salaries will not be paid to the employees of Delhi government.

"It may be known that the current Financial Year lapses on March 31, 2023 and every employee will get his salary irrespective of the Budget being passed or not," the source added.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Finance minister Kailash Gahlot said the budget file has been resent to the Union home ministry for approval.

"The MHA has approved the Budget and conveyed it to the Delhi government," a source said.

Gahlot had said the file had been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs physically and through email for approval.

The presentation of the Delhi government's Budget for 2023-24, scheduled for Tuesday, was put on hold with the Arvind Kejriwal-led dispensation and the central government trading charges over allocations under various heads.

As the chief minister lashed out at the Centre, sources in the MHA said the ministry has sought a clarification from the AAP government as its budget proposal had high allocations for advertisement and relatively low funding for infrastructure and other development initiatives.

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