A day after the power regulator announced a rise in rates for Delhi customers, the government’s budget for 2014-15 announced a subsidy of Rs 260 crore, for low-end consumers.
This will cut the rates for those consuming up to 400 units a month. Even then, the government will have a fiscal surplus of Rs 2,000 crore for the current financial year, compared to a deficit of Rs 2,900 crore in 2012-13.
Since Delhi is under President’s Rule, the budget was presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
Proposing no new taxes for the city, Jaitley also announced measures on new low-floor buses, sanitation and a multi-speciality hospital in Rohini. The budget announced a subsidy of Rs 1.2 a unit for consumption up to 200 units and Rs 0.80 a unit up to 400 units. It is estimated that the move will benefit 80 per cent or 28,00,000 consumers in Delhi.
DERC had on Thursday announced an increase of power rates by 8.3 per cent for the distribution companies. While the new rates announced by DERC would have made every one cough up more, the subsidies announced in the budget would make those consuming up to 200 units a month shell out Rs 2.8 a unit against Rs 3.9 at present. Those using 201-400 units will pay Rs 5.15 against Rs 5.8 currently.
Those consuming 401-800 units will pay Rs 7.3 a unit against Rs 6.8 at present. There was no provision of subsidy given to this class as well as those consuming more in the budget.
On the rate rise, Jaitley said it was necessitated due to increase in input costs. “However, the poor and marginalised should not suffer,” he said on the Rs 260 crore subsidy.
The Budget estimated a fiscal surplus of Rs 2,015 crore in 2014-15, against a deficit at Rs 2,924 crore in the revised estimate (RE) of the previous year.
It estimated expenditure at Rs 36,766 crore, about 3.8 per cent more than the Rs 35,424 crore RE of a year earlier. The receipts were estimated at Rs 37,103 crore, up 5.4 per cent over the 35,200 crore RE in FY14.
Beside a multi-speciality hospital in Rohini, 50 dialysis centres are to come up in different part. Four new sewage treatment plants have also been planned.
Sanction is also likely for one multi-speciality hospital for South Delhi. The government also proposed to increase the Plan outlay for pensions to senior citizens, from Rs 538 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 600 crore in the current financial year.
He said tenders had been floated for procurement of 1,380 semi-low floor buses for the Delhi transport Corporation.