The Fifth Delhi Legislative Assembly

(First Session)

06th JANUARY, 2014

            Respected Speaker and Hon’ Members,

  I extend a warm welcome to all of you to the First Session (Winter Session) of the Fifth Legislative Assembly of Delhi. I would like to convey my best wishes to all the Hon’ Members for the New Year.
  I impress upon all the Hon’ Members to continue the excellent traditions set by Members of the last Assembly, thereby strengthening the role the Assembly can play in translating the aspirations of the people into reality.
  I congratulate the citizens, political parties, and government officials for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the General Elections to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, 2013.
  The Citizen’s of Delhi have overwhelmingly voted for change in the just concluded elections. They have reposed faith in not only a new approach to governance but also to a new political culture that stresses the need to place the citizen at the centre of our thoughts, actions and policies.
  My government thanks the citizens of Delhi for their spontaneous support and mandate. At the same time it is conscious of the great responsibility cast on it. The faith expressed by the citizens of Delhi shall constantly caution against any complacency.
  My government with great humility pledges itself to the welfare of the people of Delhi. It would be the endeavour of my government to deliver on all promises made to the citizens of Delhi and live up to the faith reposed in my government.
  At the very top of government’s priorities would be to bridge the chasm between the citizens and government. Government will put an end to all symbols of privilege and power that distance the citizens form the government. No minister or MLA will use a red beacon on their cars. Special security will be avoided.
  We intend to take all steps to end corruption in government departments. Passing the version of the Lokpal bill that led Anna Hazareji to undertake a fast will be a priority for the government.
  Government also intend to involve the citizen in the process of drawing up plans and projects especially those that affect the everyday life of citizens. Suggestions will be invited and wherever feasible will be incorporated into government plans for the development of the city. The concerns and worries of the citizens shall be duly included and accorded the importance they deserve. Government intends to touch the everyday life of citizens in a positive manner.
  It is not merely in the drawing up of plans that my government intends to reach out to citizens. Equally it will be important to involve them in the selection and prioritization of projects at the level of the mohalla and colonies. Government will empower citizens to choose the works they would like to see executed in their localities. They will be enabled to take decisions in ‘mohalla sabhas’ on matters touching upon the quality of daily life in their immediate vicinity.
  It is the intent of my government to actively pursue with the Central Government to grant full statehood to Delhi. This would clearly ensure that the multiplicity of authorities is reduced and decisions are expedited.
  A CAG audit of electricity companies in the National Capital from the time of privatization shall be carried out. Government is willing to even consider cancellation of the licenses of companies that do not cooperate in the conduct of that audit. Government cannot and shall not be a silent bystander. It shall be ensured that the companies have not and do not indulge in flagrant violations of financial norms. As a part of the efforts to deliver electricity at reasonable rates, electricity meters will be checked.
  Government plans to provide 20 kl of clean drinking water free of cost to all households every month. However, if the consumption exceeds 20 kl, then the entire consumption would be charged.
  Action plan for regularizing the unauthorized colonies within a year is being drawn up. This would benefit the thirty percent of Delhi’s population that lives in such colonies. The plan shall be implemented rigorously and in a time-bound manner.
  My government shall also execute projects for providing clan and ‘pukka (built-up) houses’ to those presently condemned to live in the degraded environment of slums.
  My government is also committed to provide regular jobs to those currently working on contracts. This would not only provide them secure incomes, but also increase the sense of job security. Presently, many employees are subjected to exploitation and uncertainty. This needs to end.
  Trade and commerce is the heart of economic activity that sustains the economy of Delhi. Government would like to assure this house of its commitment to the simplification of the VAT regime. The VAT rates shall also be reviewed.
  It is necessary to pay far more attention to the needs of rural Delhi than has been the case so far. Government shall provide subsidies and facilities to the farmers in villages or par with those available in other states. The lal dora will be extended.
  Health and education are bedrock of any human and social development. My government stands committed to all round improvements in these two vital sectors. Accordingly, policies will be evolved and implemented to improve the standard of education in government schools so as to make them better than even that in private schools. More than 500 government schools will be set up in Delhi. Government shall put an end to the system of donations in private schools. In addition, private schools will need to make the fee fixation system transparent.
  Similarly, new hospitals shall be set up in government sector that would more than match the treatment and facilities provided by hospitals in the private sectors.
  A matter of deep concern is the security environment for women and girls. That fifty percent of population should be intimidated enough to avoid public spaces is a shame. Special security cells shall be set up to ensure that women and girls are not harassed. New courts shall be set up and new judges appointed so as to ensure that all cases involving harassment of women or girls are disposed of in three months. Similarly, such number of courts shall be set up and judges appointed so that all other cases are disposed of in six months.
  Hon’ Speaker and Members of this august house, I have presented a very brief highlight of my government’s blueprint for developing a Delhi in which the concerns and needs of the common citizens shall be top priority. Government shall leave no stone unturned to ensure implementation of its programs and policies.
  I wish you success and positive outcomes in your deliberations.
JAI Hind!!