Thursday, 14 January 2010

Delhi govt seeks additional Rs 2000 cr for Commonwealth Games

Facing severe fund crunch in view of huge spending on infrastructure projects linked to the Commonwealth Games, Delhi government today sought an additional Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre.

Placing the demand before Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia said the city Government needs the additional allocation for the preparation of the sporting event.

"I have said we need at least Rs 2,000 crore. This year we got about Rs 1,000 crore for Commonwealth Games and some money from JNNURM," Walia told reporters after a pre-Budget interaction with Mukherjee.

The government has made investments to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore to improve infrastructure ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The Government is facing financial crisis as it had reported a fall of over Rs 1,300 crore in tax revenue collection in the last fiscal due to the economic downturn.

The tax collection has improved this year as the government collected a total tax revenue of Rs 8394.2 crore in the first eight months of 2009-10, which is an increase of 3.4 per cent comparing to the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

Asked about preparation for the Commonwealth Games, Walia said Government will complete all the projects on time.

"We are satisfied with progress of work. All the projects will be completed much before commencement of the event," he said.

In view of financial constraints of the city government, the Centre had granted a plan allocation of Rs 2,435.68 crore to it in the Union Budget, which was an increase of Rs 1,673 crore compared to year 2007-08.

The Delhi government, in its budget, had earmarked Rs 2,105 crore for the financial year 2009-10 for projects related to the Games.

The city Government had withdrawn subsidy to certain categories of power consumers, increased bus fare and hiked water tariff last year in view of its financial constraints.

The Government had also increased VAT on 120 items to improve its financial resources which will come into effect from tomorrow.


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