Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena's office on Tuesday countered the Aam Aadmi Party's allegations of stalling the Delhi government budget scheduled for today stating that it was not "blocked" and the Kejriwal government's move to fix the date of its presentation before seeking the President's approval is "wrong" and displays the government's "mal-intent".
The LG office said that since Delhi is a Union Territory and not a state, the pre-approval of the President of India has been going on for the past 28 years.
Earlier today, Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged, "It is happening for the first time in the whole world that the central government has stopped the budget of any state.
"Responding to the allegations, the Delhi LG office said, "Arvind Kejriwal, his ministers and the Aam Admi Party are very 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.
"Stating that the approval of the President's consent on the Budget of Delhi is provided in the Constitution, the statement said that the government's move to fix the date of presentation beforehand shows its "mal-intent".
"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," it said.
"The Chief Minister was aware that the LG has approved the financial statement and made certain observations since 09th March, 2023, 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 statement said.
The LG office accused the Delhi government of misleading that the salaries of the Delhi government employees will not be paid. "He again misled people from a media platform when he said that salaries will not be paid to the employees of Delhi Government. It may be known that the current Financial Year lapses on 31.03.2023 and every employee will get his salary irrespective of the Budget being passed or not," the office said.
Earlier on Monday, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged that the Ministry of Home Affairs stalled the government's Budget 2023-24 which was scheduled to be presented tomorrow in the Delhi Assembly.
However, the Home Ministry sources dismissed the allegations, adding that the MHA has instead sought clarification from the Delhi government as its budget allocation was focussed on advertisement rather than the infrastructure sector.
Responding to the MHA's point, the Delhi government said that the allocation for the advertisement has not been increased in this year's budget.
"MHA is lying. The total budget of Delhi is Rs 78,800 crores. Out of this, Rs 22,000 crores are for infrastructure, while only Rs 550 crores will be spent on advertisement. Last year also the budget for advertisement was the same. There is no increase in the advertising budget," Delhi's Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot said.
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