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Delhi Congress demands free vaccine doses to all, cut in fuel prices
Last Updated : 09 Mar 2021 03:15:15 AM IST


The Congress has appealed to the Delhi government for free Covid vaccination to all, unemployment allowance to the youth and reduction in the Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel prices.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, former MLA and Delhi Congress leader Adarsh Shastri urged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia, to keep the welfare of the people upper most in mind while presenting the Delhi Budget on Tuesday.
Shastri said that the people of Delhi have been dogged by myriad problems, and the primary objective of the Budget should be to shore up the disturbed economy, address issues such as price rise, unemployment, pollution, dirty drinking water, health, education, pension and cleaning up the polluted Yamuna river, among others.
The Congress leader said that the Budget should be aimed at serving the people, as mere lofty announcements will serve no purpose, as has been the case in the past six years.
"The Budget should make provision for free Covid vaccination to people of Delhi in all hospitals, including private hospitals, to honour Kejriwal's promise," he said, adding that due to the Covid-19 pandemic economic crisis, a majority of the people are not in a position to afford vaccination on payment.
Shastri said that the youth and young people in Delhi are struggling without jobs, and the government should provide "unemployment allowance to the youth", till enough job opportunities are created for them.
He demanded the Delhi government should also immediately reduce the 30 per cent VAT imposed on petrol and diesel, which is the highest-ever charged in Delhi, to give relief to people.
"Surge in oil prices has had a cascading effect on all the essential commodities, making the lives of the common people unbearable," he said, adding that Delhi Congress also wants ration cards for 11 lakh families, who have been waiting for ration cards for the past six years.
Shastri said: "The recent by-elections to the five municipal wards showed that Delhi want Congress back in power, as the party's vote share raced to over 22 per cent, to make it the main opposition party, and Delhi Congress' budget suggestions were aimed at people's welfare."
He also said that the AAP government in Delhi should shelve the move to boost excise revenue to Rs 7,651 crore, through a liberalized liquor policy, which will only ruin the youth of the Capital.
The former MLA added, "The pre-Budget Economic Survey paints a bleak picture, as the per capita income of the national capital has come down by 9 per cent, while the contraction in Delhi's Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is expected at 5.68 per cent in 2020-21."
He said that the fiscal deficit increased from 0.20 per cent of GSDP in previous years to 0.39 per cent this year, which in monetary terms, means that the deficit was Rs 3,227.79 crore in 2019-20, and for 2020-21, it's estimated to be Rs 1.08 per cent.
He said that the reduction in the revenue surplus was a matter of great concern, as Delhi's revenue surplus has crashed in last few years, while the outstanding debt of the Delhi government rose to Rs 34,461.83 crore.

New Delhi
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