Staff Reporter

BJP accused of not cooperating throughout

‘Delhi Govt. used session well; had three Bills passed’

‘Delhi Budget is committed to social entitlement’

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit termed the 19-day Budget Session of the Delhi Assembly that ended on Friday evening as a “good session” but expressed a “sense of agony” that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party did not cooperate throughout.

She said the session had also “witnessed certain unpleasant and unprecedented moments that had caused irreparable loss to our great democratic session” and accused the BJP of not making proper use of the lengthy session.

Discussions

Ms. Dikshit said while the BJP had demanded discussions on sealing, power and water, on days the discussion were to be held it was “absent” from the House.Nevertheless, she said, the Delhi Government used the session well and had three Bills passed.

While the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi Bill, 2007, provided for setting up the State university that would admit its first batch of 125 undergraduate students from 2008-09, the Delhi Gurdwaras Amendment Bill-2008 has addressed certain important issues pertaining to the tenure of the Executive Board of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

The third piece of legislation, the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Bill, 2007, provides for prevention of defacement of property by allowing for imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs.50,000 for the offenders.

Ms. Dikshit said the Delhi Budget passed by the House was committed to “social entitlement” and providing government support to those who need it most. She said 14 lakh families with an annual income of less than Rs.1 lakh would now get full rations. Likewise, poor people consuming up to 200 units of power in peak months and up to 150 units in non-peak months would get a power subsidy of Rs.1 per unit. On the other hand, she said, the industrial rates had been hiked. Several social schemes including an increase in the sum for uniforms of children from Rs.300 to Rs.500 were also aimed at strengthening the hands of the poor, she added. About price rise, Ms. Dikshit said the Government had tried to mitigate its impact by economically empowering the poor through these schemes.

“The impact of inflation has been the lowest in Delhi,” she claimed, adding that after the seasonal rise the prices had also started stabilising.

Stating that water supply in Delhi had risen from 570 million gallons per day in 1997 to 815 MGD, Ms. Dikshit said a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Uttar Pradesh for getting regular supply of 100 MGD for the Bhagirathi Haiderpur treatment plant. As for Haryana not releasing Delhi’s share of water, she said “we will fight for our due share.”

A correction

In the report titled “Rising crime rate, inflation dominate Assembly proceedings” in these columns on Friday, it was erroneously stated that Saket MLA Vijay Jolly had while initiating a short duration discussion on crime expressed concern at its rise in Delhi. Actually, since the House had been adjourned, the scheduled discussion had not taken place and Mr. Jolly had only handed over to the Speaker the written statement, on which the news report was inadvertently based. The error is regretted.

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