Manish Sisodia, the finance minister of Delhi met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the pre-budget meeting of state and union territories and made some demands. He asked Sitharaman to “increase Delhi’s share in central taxes and its ‘normal central assistance’, provide 100% funding for centrally sponsored schemes, increase financial support to local bodies and give special grant to run fast-track courts,” Sisodia posted a Twitter thread recording details of the same on his timeline. Of these, the most outrageous demand was for a raise in the share of the state in central taxes to 6,000 crore rupees from the existing 325 crore rupees, a 20 times hike.
In last four years, Delhi government has recklessly expended its finances in socialistic schemes severely diminishing the public finances of the state. The money available to any government is limited just like to any household, individual, or corporate. But CM Arvind Kerjriwal defied all basis economic literacy which he might have learnt during the career as Indian Revenue Service officer.
Kejriwal believes in doling out outrageous levels of freebies from ration, power, water, metro rides to health, education and almost everything that could be provided by the government free to people without considering the drawbacks of such reckless and unbalanced policies. The advisors to CM include people like Atishi Marlena who is a self-proclaimed Socialist. India followed the path of ‘socialism’ for four decades and this kept millions of people poor and malnourished rendering whole generations were crippled. So much for the ‘mirage of socialism’ where the government must care of everything that you need in life.
In order to take ‘populist’ decisions like free water, power, electricity, and metro rides, Delhi government has done serious injury to public finance of Delhi. It is obvious that Arvind Kejriwal aims to harvest political gains from this reckless and flawed economic policy. Now the finance minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia is asking central government to compensate for its ‘vote buying decisions’. He made many illogical, unreasonable, and absurd demands to central government. He wishes to raise the share of state in central taxes to 6,000 crore rupees from existing 325 crore rupees.
Manish Sisodia also asked for full funding of centrally sponsored schemes from central government, as is with special category status states like Assam, Nagaland and Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
He further demanded ‘normal central assistance’ to Delhi to be increased from the existing 472 crore rupees to 1,500 crore rupees for the current year. In the ongoing fiscal year’s receipt budget, Delhi government increased the ‘Grants in Aid from center’ from 2,184 crore rupees in 2017-18 to 6,717 crore rupees, a three times increase.
Manish Sisodia’s list of demands met no end as he also asked for an increase in financial support to urban local bodies in Delhi. He also asked for ‘special grant’ to run special courts to resolve the long pending cases.
The capital expenditure of Delhi government has declined over the years due to rise in revenue expenditure. The distribution of ‘freebies’ and no holds barred populism to ‘fool the masses’ has led to a drop in the growth of the state. The near zero investment resources which are helpful in wealth creation like building of infrastructure has pulled down in global competitiveness.
Metro Man E Sreedharan recently criticized Kejriwal government’s decision to give free metro rides to women. “Everybody knows this is an election gimmick to win votes of women in the next Assembly election,” Sreedharan wrote in a letter to Delhi government. Arvind Kejriwal has advisors who are ardent supporters of Socialism and Marxism are walking Delhi on the footsteps of Kolkata when a prolonged radical communist government controlled West Bengal followed by another reckless administration led by Mamata Banerjee. It is for the people of Delhi to decide whether they would allow the national capital to come to that disaster.