Delhi Budget 2025: Welfarism Takes Center Stage in Election Year

Preeti Bali / 10:28 am / March 6, 2024

As Delhi gears up for elections next year, the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) FY25 Budget reflects a clear political strategy. Coming into power during the previous term, this is their final full budget before the polls.

Women empowerment

Finance Minister Atishi’s emphasis on “Ram Rajya” as a guiding principle hints at the budget’s focus on social welfare programs and aims to resonate with the majority population. Securing the support of female voters appears to be a key priority for AAP. Following the implementation of free bus travel, women in Delhi below the taxable income bracket will now receive a monthly stipend of ₹1,000. With an estimated five million beneficiaries, this program holds significant electoral weight.

Budget allocation

Despite a slight decrease in total expenditure compared to the previous year (₹76,000 crore vs ₹78,800 crore), the party remains committed to its core focus areas of education, healthcare, and utilities – all of which have been their campaign pillars for over a decade. While allocations for education and health have been marginally reduced, education continues to be the largest budgetary expense, a trend likely to continue. The significant increase in funding for water and sanitation aligns with the free water scheme for low-consumption households and the budget’s emphasis on infrastructural development in unauthorized colonies.

However, there’s room for improvement. The lack of significant focus on environmental concerns is surprising. Additionally, the sharp decline in allocation for transportation compared to the previous year’s revised estimates is puzzling. With growing urbanization, increased investment in green transport solutions is crucial. Addressing these shortcomings will be essential for a more comprehensive budget.

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