AAP govt.’s focus this year will be on empowering women: Finance Minister

Atishi says monthly stipend for women announced in budget will bolster economy; blames L-G for ‘stalling’ several programmes; says she is fighting ‘tooth and nail’ to get govt.’s initiatives executed

Published - March 06, 2024 12:58 am IST - New Delhi

Finance Minister Atishi said her government takes up only one plan at a time to ensure proper implementation.

Finance Minister Atishi said her government takes up only one plan at a time to ensure proper implementation. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The monthly assistance of ₹1,000 to women over 18 years of age will strengthen the economy as it will spur spending by households, Finance Minister Atishi said on Tuesday.

In an interview with The Hindu, she said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government takes up only one scheme at a time to ensure proper implementation, and this year its focus will be on empowering women.

The Minister’s comments came a day after she announced the ‘Mukhyamantri Mahila Samman Yojana’ in her maiden budget speech weeks before the Lok Sabha election.

Under the plan, only those women who are non-tax payers and not covered under any government scheme will be given the monthly stipend.

Ms. Atishi said the initiative will ensure the social empowerment of women as they will have more money at their disposal.

“The money will eventually flow back into the economy, which will get a boost through increased spending by women,” she said.

“A major part of governance is to ensure that your system keeps running well. That is why we introduce only a few flagship schemes every year. We cannot just make things happen in a matter of seconds,” she said.

The Minister said in the past two years, the government had focused on providing electric buses and building infrastructure while ensuring proper implementation of the schemes.

In response to a query over the government initiatives that have remained stuck for long, the Minister blamed Lieutenant-Governor V.K. Saxena, saying he “stalled several plans through Delhi government bureaucrats”.

‘Officers toeing L-G line’

“What does the L-G do? All senior officers in the Delhi government follow his orders. They are constantly in his office. He uses them to stop the works undertaken by the AAP government,” she said, in an apparent reference to the tussle between the AAP government and the L-G over the control of bureaucrats.

While commenting on the sacking of about 300 government consultants, the Minister said the move had “impacted policy creation and implementation”.

“On the one hand, you have removed our workers and on the other, you have ensured that all our works are stalled by officials,” she said. Ms. Atishi, however, said her government is “fighting tooth and nail” to get the schemes implemented.

Earlier allegations

Delhi Ministers have repeatedly complained in the past about bureaucrats refusing to obey their orders. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier said the problem stemmed from Delhi not enjoying full Statehood as the “real power” lies with the BJP-led Centre, which exercises control over Delhi government bureaucrats.

Some of the major plans that allegedly faced bureaucratic hurdles include the ‘Farishtey Dilli Ke’ scheme, under which road accident victims are provided free treatment in hospitals. The government had alleged in the past that funds for it were stopped by senior officials.

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