Delhi economy growing at strong pace despite Centre’s roadblocks, says Atishi

Finance Minister says AAP government will not stop making life better for Delhiites; targeting L-G even in Economic Survey speech unfortunate: BJP; Delhi Budget to be presented on March 4

March 02, 2024 12:58 am | Updated 12:58 am IST - New Delhi

Tabling the Economic Survey for 2023-24 in the Assembly, Finance Minister Atishi on Friday said Delhi’s economy has grown at a strong pace in the past year despite the “roadblocks” created by the Central government and the Lieutenant-Governor V.K. Saxena in the functioning of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

The survey shows that Delhi’s per capita income at constant prices — which adjusts for the effects of inflation — during 2023-24 is estimated to reach ₹2,73,687, registering a growth of 5.69% over the previous year’s ₹2,58,941 in 2022-23 and up from ₹2,44,024 in 2021-22. According to the advance estimate, Delhi’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) at constant prices during 2023-24 is likely to be ₹6,72,247 crore, showing a growth of 7.39% over 2022-23. According to the survey, Delhi’s GSDP contracted 8.96% in 2020-21 — the first full year under the pandemic — but grew 8.76% in 2021-22 and 7.85% in 2022-23.

“The L-G has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on several occasions saying that this government has not been working efficiently. However, the Economic Survey is pure data and data does not lie. It shows that Delhi’s economy is growing at a record pace despite roadblocks and the AAP government will not stop making life better for Delhiites. We will not bow down to attempts to stop us from functioning efficiently,” Ms. Atishi said while tabling the survey. The budget, which has been delayed this year by a fortnight, will be presented on March 4, she said.

Ms. Atishi also said that despite offering free electricity and water, free bus rides for women and a pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens, among other services, Delhi is the only revenue-surplus State in the country. “In 2021-22, Delhi recorded a revenue surplus of ₹3,270 crore, which increased to ₹14,457 crore in 2022-23. Delhi’s tax collection has registered a growth of 18% during 2022-23,” she said. She added that inflation in Delhi was 2.81% during January-December 2023, while the national inflation was 5.65%. Speaking about jobs, which was the highlight of the AAP’s Rozgar Budget presented in 2022-23, Ms. Atishi said the unemployment rate was 6.3% in 2020-21 but decreased to 1.9% in 2022-23 due to the government’s efforts to boost the economy.

‘Jugglery of numbers’

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri described the survey as mere jugglery of numbers. “Delhi’s per capita income has always been high because it is the national capital,” he said, adding that while the ‘Delhi education model’ is a sham, water supply is at its worst. “It is extremely unfortunate that Atishi has targeted the L-G even in the economic survey speech,” Mr. Bidhuri said.

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