The First Delhi Legislative Assembly

(Budget Session)

07th MARCH, 1994

           Mr. Speaker, Sir and Hon’ble Members,

1. I welcome you all to this, the first session of the year 1994, which is also the first budget session of the newly elected Legislative Assembly.
2. I wish to take this opportunity to highlight the major initiatives and achievements of my Government after 100 eventful days in office. Within this short period of 100 days, 100 new schemes have been formulated for improving the quality of life in Delhi. A beginning has been made towards the fulfillment of promises made by the Government. I wish to assure the Hon’ble Members that in the coming year, my Government will make every effort to achieve 100% success in the implementation of these schemes.
3. Before I dwell on policies and programes for the coming year, I would like to state that as promised in the last session that my Government shall work for a better Delhi, beautiful Delhi, a greener and cleaner Delhi, an intensive ‘beautification abhiyan’ was launched with the help of D.D.A; M.C.D; N.D.M.C; Public Works and other agencies of the Government. Works that were specifically identified to be taken up during this ‘abhiyan’, included repair and cleanliness of roads and central verges, proper functioning of street lights, removal of garbage, pot holes, cleaning up of road-side drains and fixing of missing manhole covers on all the major roads, and provision of three basic amenities in all the schools, namely, water, electricity and toilet. I am happy to say that the beautification campaign was a success. Its impact is visible and the general perception is that Delhi is beginning to look different and better.
4. After a gap of four decades, Delhi has a Legislative Assembly, and an elected Government has been installed. It is but natural that aspirations of the people and their expectations from the Government, which is accountable to them are high. Being aware of this, my Government’s whole-hearted effort is to fulfil the promises made to the people and also implement the major programmes and schemes identified as thrust areas. For effective review and monitoring of the major programmes launched by the Government, a 15 member committee has been set up under the Chairmanship of Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Member of Parliament from Delhi. It consists of official and non-official members with the Secretary(Planning) of the Government of Delhi as its member-Secretary.
5. Following the effective presentation of our case, the Planning Commission has approved an outlay of Rs.1,560 crores for the year 1994-95, an increase of over 45% over the current year’s outlay of Rs.1,075 crores revised to Rs.980 crores. Subsequently, however, pattern and level of financial assistance that has been communicated to the Government of Delhi for the Annual Plan 1994-95, is such as would in effect amount to reduction in the approved outlay by Rs.280 crores. The matter has been briefly discussed with the Union Finance Minister and will be discussed further with all the concerned authorities shortly. We are confident that the agreed level of central assistance for Delhi’s annual plan would be restored in due course of time, and the outlay of Rs.1,560 crores maintained.
6. A period of 100 days in the life of an administration is too short to judge its achievements or successes. But I would like to mention with some sense of satisfaction that my Government has many major achievements to its credit in this short span. These achievements would do any Government proud. Some of these are the following :-
  • To give much needed relief to the trading community, the self assessment scheme has been revised to include assesses upto gross turn over of Rs.15 lakhs per annum, the exemption limit under the Sales Tax Act is being increased for manufacturers from Rs.30,000 to Rs.1.0 lakh, and for traders from Rs.1.0 lakh to Rs.2.50 lakhs. A suitable legislation for amending the Sales Tax Act will be introduced in the current session of the Assembly to give effect to this decision. A committee of experts has been appointed under the Chairmanship of Dr. Raja Chelliah to review the existing Sales Tax laws, and to examine the feasibility of replacing Sales Tax by Turn Over Tax or any other suitable alternative.
  • Substantial relief in the property tax has been given in the M.C.D. areas, and the tax structure has been streamlined and rationalized. For further improvement in the property tax administration, an amending legislation will be introduced in the current session of the Assembly.
  • While taking note of the fact that continuance of industrial and ommercial units in non-conforming areas is a violation of the Master Plan, the Government felt that it would be unrealistic to believe that large numbers of units so involved would be closed down. The Government, therefore, proposes to extend the existing cut-off date of 30.6.1989 for ad hoc registration of industrial and commercial units in non-conforming areas upto 31.12.1993. Modalities for implementing this are being worked out.
  • Similarly, taking note of the fact that industrial and commercial units have at present connected loads far in excess of the sanctioned load, a decision has been taken that in non-conforming areas, for the non-polluting industrial/commercial units that may be registered according to the above proposal, excess load would be regularized upto 30 K.W; whereas in conforming areas it would be regularized upto 100 K.W. Modalities for the implementation of this decision are also being worked out.
  • The Government of Delhi has recommended to the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, the regularization of 600 unauthorized colonies which existed on 31.3.1993 barring a few exceptions. Other suggestions regarding colonies which existed prior to this date made by Members of Parliament from Delhi, and Members of the Legislative Assembly are being verified by a committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Urban Development of the Government of Delhi. Colonies found eligible by this Committee would also be taken up for regularization.
  • The Government has decided that in all the unauthorized colonies which are to be regularized, water and electricity connections would be provided on the same basis as was applicable to the colonies which came up between 30.6.1977 and 01.01.1981.
  • A State Commission for Women is being set up in Delhi. Suitable legislation in this regard will be introduced in the current session of the Assembly.
  • Singing of “Vande Mataram” has been made compulsory in the morning Assembly in all the schools of Delhi. Emphasis is being given on the learning of Sanskrit. A committee has been set up to make recommendations for the introduction of compulsory, moral education in the school curriculum. These steps have been taken so that our young minds inculcate a sense of pride in our history and culture and feelings of self-respect, nationalism and patriotism. I am glad to note that the Legislative Assembly of Delhi has also accepted the suggestion of the Government to begin each session with the singing of “Vande Mataram” and concluding it with the National Anthem.
  • Any society that wants to improve its human resource potential, must give due respect to its teaching community. With this in view, my Government has decided that the post of Post Graduate Teacher would be re-designated as Lecturer, and that of the Assistant Teacher as Teacher. A committee under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi has been set up to examine the recommendations of the Chattopadhyaya Committee for improved terms and conditions of service of teachers. Further, realizing the importance of education for the socio-economic improvement of a people, Government is determined to achieve 100% literacy in Delhi by 2000 A.D. A committee has been appointed to prepare a plan of action for cent per cent adult literacy by 2000 A.D. It is now proposed to enlarge the scope of this committee to cover all the age groups in the programme of “Education for All”, and to achieve the above target by 1997.
  • Minimum wages in all the 29 scheduled employments in Delhi have been revised upwards with effect from 15.2.1994 based on the cost of living index. The minimum wage now for an unskilled worker is Rs.53.15, for semi-skilled Rs.59.50 and for skilled Rs.69.45 per day. At present the minimum wages in Delhi are amongst the highest in the country.
  • Adequate water supply has been maintained even though there were some difficulties for a period of 8/10 weeks when on 16.11.1993 Haryana stopped the supply of 50 MGD of raw water for the first phase of the second 100 MGD water treatment plant at Haiderpur. With the intervention of the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister and cooperation of the Chief Minister of Haryana, the supply was fully restored on 16.02.1994. We are thankful to the Chief Minister of Haryana for this helpful attitude. The second phase of 50 MGD capacity of this plant is likely to be commissioned by the end of March,1994. This will benefit areas in West Delhi, South Delhi, Cantonment and N.D.M.C.
  • Looking at the hardships faced by the poorer sections of the society in procuring essential commodities, the procedure for the issue of ration cards has been simplified. For the first time, even homeless “Palledars” have been made eligible for temporary food-cards.
  • To curb the growing menace of gambling and other socio-economic ills creeping into the society because of the unbridled growth of lotteries in Delhi, the Government of Delhi has decided to ban daily and single digit draws in Delhi. In order to make this decision effective, a Central Legislation is necessary. Therefore, a proposal has been sent to the Union Home Ministry in this regard.
  • To improve the functioning of hospitals in Delhi and to check the malpractices and incidence of corruption, a Hospital Advisory Committee has been set up for each hospital. Moreover, a Central Co-ordination Council for Government hospitals has been set up to provide health care services to the citizens of Delhi in an integrated and co-ordinated manner. Other measures proposed in the field of health and medical care are the setting up of a State Drugs Authority and a State Health Education Bureau.
  • Some of the other schemes proposed to be taken up in the Medical and Health Sector in the coming year, are setting up of a Directorate of Ayurveda in Delhi, A State Medical Council, an Ayurvedic Medical College, formulation of a new drug policy with introduction of the concept of essential drugs and a Central Procurement, Storage and distribution Agency for the Department. 9 colony hospitals at present run by the Municipal Corporation, will be upgraded, primary health care would be provided in J.J. Clusters, and new dispensaries will be set up in identified insufficiently serviced areas in Delhi.
  • A decision has been taken to grant tubewell connections for agricultural purposes even in villages earmarked for urbanization. This has been done to ensure that agricultural activity does not suffer in these areas.
  • Provisions of electricity tariff have been simplified leaving no room for ambiguity or misinterpretation. No revision of tariff has been proposed in the budget of D.E.S.U. for the next financial year. The surcharge rates have, however, been reduced to give relief to the consumers. A new feature introduced is that bona fide professionals have been spared from the payment of misuse charges for converting a small area of their residence into an office room. Agricultural tariff will also be applicable to floriculture, horticulture and plant nurseries.
  • A Trans Yamuna Development Board has been set up to coordinate the various developmental activities and to give a fillip to the creation of infrastructural and civic amenities in this hitherto neglected area.
7. I will now turn to what the Government proposes to do in the coming year. As I mentioned at the beginning of this address, 100 new schemes covering all cross-sections of the society, in addition to on-going schemes have been proposed in the Annual Plan 1994-95. Some of the relatively more important schemes are the following :-
  • For the creation of social and infrastructural facilities for all round development of rural areas, a new scheme under the title ‘Mini Master Plan for the development of the rural villages’ will be implemented.
  • To meet the minimum electric supply requirements of the poorer sections of the society, a new scheme will be taken up under which two electric points would be provided in each jhuggi. A provision of Rs.5 crores has been made for this purpose.
  • Three new degree colleges will be opened in different parts of Delhi.
  • To phase out the tented schools from Delhi, a massive programme is proposed to be launched for the construction of pucca/semi-pucca school buildings. An outlay of Rs.54 crores has been provided for this purpose in the coming year.
  • Hostel accommodation for working women is woefully inadequate in the city. The Government, therefore, proposes to take up the construction of three new Working Women’s Hostels including one in the Trans Yamuna area. An outlay of Rs.1.32 crores has been provided for this purpose.
  • One new I.T.I. and two Polytechnics, one for women will be established.
  • 100 Vocational Training Centres will also be set up in Delhi.
  • A Board for Secondary Education for Delhi will be set up.
  • A film city on the banks of the Western Yamuna Canal will be developed to attract tourists as well as to facilitate shooting of films in the city.
  • A Sindhi Academy will be established for the promotion, encouragement and preservation of Sindhi Language and Culture.
  • A Delhi School of Sports will be established which would provide residential facilities to budding sports persons. Its main thrust will be on coaching in games and sports.
  • Special financial assistance will be provided to outstanding players and sports persons.
  • 24 Wrestling Stadia will be developed.
  • Bathing ghats will be developed on the banks of River Yamuna to provide clean water to the public.
  • For the preservation and maintenance of the Ridge and to improve its environment, the Ridge has been declared as a ‘Reserved Forest’ under the Indian Forests Act. A scheme has been drawn up for its further development.
  • 10 Go Sadans/Go Shalas will be set up to deal with the problem of stray cattle in Delhi in an effective and humanitarian manner.
  • A special provision of rupees one crore has been made for each Assembly Constituency for providing infrastructural facilities like roads, street lights, parks etc.
  • It is proposed to set-up a Housing Board and a Slum Improvement Board for Delhi.
  • Government also proposes to set-up a Water Supply and Sewage Board to de-link this activity from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi as has been envisaged in the D.M.C. Act,1957 as amended in 1993.
  • To make the old age pension realistic in keeping with the cost of living in the city, the Government has decided to double the amount of Rs.200 per month from the next financial year.
  • In accordance with the Government policy to give special attention to the welfare of SCs/STs/OBCs, a number of new schemes have been proposed:
    1. Rs.5,000/- to be given as assistance to widows for marriage of their daughters.
    2. Rs.500/- as one-time assistance for balanced diet for lactating and nursing mothers.
    3. A scholarship of Rs.100/- per month to university/college students.
    4. Conversion of all the dry latrines in a phased manner. An outlay of Rs.6 crores has been provided for this purpose.
    5. Interest free loan to students for technical and medical education.
    6. Free D.T.C. passes to all the college/university students belonging to SCs/STs/OBCs as well as economically weaker-sections of the society.
    7. Free special coaching centres are proposed to be opened for students of SCs/STs/OBCs appearing for competitive examinations of the Government.
    8. Four per cent interest subsidy will be given to SC/ST persons on loans taken by them from Delhi Financial Corporation.
  • One Public library and recreation centre each will be opened in all the 70 Assembly Constituencies.
  • Two more district level Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums will be set up, in addition to the two district level forums functioning in Delhi.
  • 10 Musical Gardens on the pattern of Vrindavan Gardens of Mysore, will be developed in the city.
  • 10 Old-Age Homes will be set up.
  • 205 Anganwadis will be opened.
  • 100 mobile toilet vans will be provided for slums and J.J. clusters.
  • Public transport system is proposed to be regulated and rationalized under a unified system under which the private and DTC buses would ply on common routes and a common time-table. Details of this plan are being worked out. For a long-term solution to the transportation problem in Delhi, however, Government shall strive to get the Mass Rapid Transport Scheme sanctioned and implemented at the earliest.
  • To ease the problem of traffic congestion in Delhi roads, another fly-over on the I.I.T. crossing has been completed and opened to public. Pedestrian Underpasses are being constructed at Wazirpur, Narouji Nagar, I.T.O. Crossing, Tis Hazari and near Natraj Cinema in Moti Nagar area on Najafgarh Road. Grid separators at Punjabi Bagh, and fly-overs at All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Safdarjung Hospital crossing and Dhaula Kuan roundabout are the other priority projects.
8. I have tried to highlight the policies and programmes, and the priority and thrust areas that my Government has identified for implementation in the coming year. I am sure, with your guidance, help and cooperation, and the dedication and hard work of the officers and staff of the Government and local bodies, etc. the Government will be able to implement its programmes successfully and fulfil its commitments to the people.
9. In this session of the Assembly, besides the presentation of the Budget, legislative business proposed to be transacted includes the Municipal Corporation of Delhi(Amendment) Bill, Delhi Delegation of Powers(Amendment) Bill, Delhi Comission for Women Bill, Sales Tax(Amendment) Bill, Delhi Cow & Agricultural Cattle Preservation Bill and Punjab Courts(Delhi Amendment) Bill.
10. In the next few days you will have an opportunity to discuss the Budget, the Plan programmes and the policies of the Government included therein. I am sure the Government will benefit from your suggestions.
11. May I conclude by wishing you all success in your deliberations.