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Delhi - No new tax in Delhi budget, power arrears waived
May, 28th 2013

Apparently with an eye on Assembly polls due later this year, the Delhi government has peppered its budget for 2008-09 with populist measures such as waiving power arrears and reducing VAT on many items, even as it chose not to impose new taxes.

The present Congress government's last budget, presented in the Assembly by Finance Minister A K Walia, has also laid emphasis on the social and infrastructure sectors.

Presenting the budget amidst the din created by the opposition over the issues of rising prices of essential commodities, Walia said Delhi can boast of good revenue earnings.

"...under the present circumstances, I do not see any need for imposition of any new tax in this budget," he said.

The government has decided to waive old, irrecoverable power arrears dating back to the pre-discom period and amounting to Rs 1,530 crore of claims and Rs 1,009 crore of late payment surcharge.

Moreover, the government will also continue to give power subsidy to domestic and agricultural consumers.

Touching upon the crucial issue of price rise, Walia said the rates are lowest in the capital compared to the same in other cities. The Government will continue to give subsidy on arhahr dal and chana to the economically-weaker sections.

Giving a boost to the social sector, the Budget has allocated more funds for schemes for the unemployed disabled, senior citizens and widows.

Besides, a new pension scheme for eminent literary personalities will also be launched in the coming financial year.

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