Home Ministry has ‘stopped’ Delhi’s budget: Finance Minister

New Delhi: Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot on Monday alleged that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has halted Delhi’s annual budget which was scheduled to be presented in Assembly on Tuesday.

“For the first time in India’s history, the MHA has stopped the Delhi government from presenting its annual budget for 2023-24 on its scheduled date on March 21. The budget was sent for MHA’s approval as per regular practice well in advance on March 10,” he said.

He said that the MHA expressed some concerns on Delhi government’s budget and refused to give it approval through a letter sent to the Chief Secretary on March 17.

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“For mysterious reasons, the Chief Secretary of Delhi kept the letter hidden for three days. I learned about the letter only at 2 p.m. today (Monday). The file with MHA’s letter was put up to me officially only at 6 p.m. today i.e. just the day before the budget was to be presented in Delhi Assembly,” the Gahlot said.

The Finance Minister also said the government has responded to the MHA’s concerns and submitted the file back to Delhi’s LG, after CM’s approval at 9 p.m. The role of the Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary of Delhi in delaying Delhi’s budget ought to be investigated, he asked.

“Nearly Rs 22,000 crores have been allocated for capital expenditure next year, whereas the allocation for advertisements is only Rs 550 crore, which is similar to that of last year. The concerns raised by the MHA are irrelevant and seemingly done only to scuttle the budget for next year of Delhi government,” he claimed.

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