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AAP Govt Presents Rs 69,000-Cr 'Deshbhakti Budget', Free COVID Vaccine for All

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said there will be a "deshbhakti period" in city schools, adding that Rs 10 crore each have been proposed for programmes on the lives of Bhagat Singh and B R Ambedkar during the 75-week "deshbhakti" celebrations.
Manish Sisodia

Image Source: Deccan Herald

New Delhi: The Delhi government presented a Rs 69,000-crore budget themed on "patriotism" for financial year 2021-22 on Tuesday, announcing free COVID-19 vaccination to all in its hospitals in the coming phases of the ongoing inoculation drive.

“Excellent budget amid difficult times. Income sources reduced, expenditure rose during COVID-19 pandemic” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

Presenting the budget, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the budget is based on "deshbhakti" (patriotism) as it pays tributes to freedom fighters and hopes to work towards building the capital and the country, as envisioned by them.

Presenting the budget for the seventh consecutive time in the Assembly, Sisodia proposed to allocate Rs 16,377 crore, one-fourth of the total budget, for the education sector while the health sector got Rs 9,934 crore.

Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will celebrate the country's 75th Independence Day and organise programmes for 75 weeks starting March 12.

The city government has proposed to allocate Rs 45 crore to install high masts to hoist the national flag at 500 places in the national capital.

"We have allocated Rs 45 crore for 500 flag masts across Delhi. They will be similar to the one we have at the Central Park in Connaught Place. So even if someone covers a distance of two kms from his home, he will get to see the tricolour in all its glory and feel patriotic," Sisodia said.

He said there will be a "deshbhakti period" in the city schools, adding that Rs 10 crore each have been proposed for programmes on the lives of Bhagat Singh and B R Ambedkar during the 75-week "deshbhakti" celebrations.

The deputy chief minister also announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to people for free at the hospitals run by the Delhi government in the future phases of the inoculation drive.

He said an outlay of Rs 50 crore has been made under the "Aam Aadmi Nishulk COVID Vaccine Yojana".

Currently, vaccination at the hospitals run by the Centre and the Delhi government is free for senior citizens and those in the 45-59 age group with comorbidities, while an amount of Rs 250 is being charged at private hospitals.

"Learning from our COVID-19 management, an amount of Rs 1,293 crore has been set aside for the expansion of healthcare services, including for opening new hospitals, renovating old ones and augmenting beds," Sisodia said.

He also announced that special "Mahila Mohalla Clinics" will be opened in Delhi from the next year and 100 such clinics will come up in the first phase.

The AAP government intends to increase Delhi's per capita income to the level of Singapore by 2047, the deputy chief minister said, pointing out that the total outlay of the budget is 6.1 per cent more than the budget presented for financial year 2020-21.

He said smart health cards will be issued to every citizen in Delhi, adding that a health information management system is being implemented.

Sisodia also said 100 specialised schools of excellence will be set up across the national capital and a virtual model school will be started in Delhi to promote and adopt technology.

"The Delhi government will also start universities for teacher training and law studies," he said.

One Sainik school was proposed in Delhi in the budget. Besides, the AAP government has also decided to provide yoga instructors in colonies for which an amount of Rs 25 crore has been allocated in the budget.

The city government said water supply will be ensured in all unauthorised colonies in the next two financial years.

It also proposed to allocate Rs 3,274 crore to the Delhi Jal Board for the next financial year.

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