Kailash Gahlot (Image: PTI)
Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot on Tuesday said the budget file has been resent to the home ministry for approval, amid a row between the AAP dispensation and the Centre over the issue.
Addressing the Delhi Assembly, Gahlot said the budget was stalled on Monday. He said the file has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs physically and through mail for approval.
The presentation of the Delhi government’s budget for 2023-24, scheduled for Tuesday, was put on hold, with the Arvind Kejriwal-led dispensation and the central government trading charges over allocations in various heads.
As the chief minister lashed out at the Centre, sources in the MHA said the ministry has sought clarification from the AAP government as its budget proposal had high allocation for advertisement and relatively low funding for infrastructure and other development initiatives.
The file, after addressing the MHA’s concerns, was sent to Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on Monday night, who approved it and sent it back to the government. The government then sent it to the MHA.
Talking about the issue in the Assembly, Gahlot said after the LG’s approval, the file was sent to the finance secretary on Monday night.
“What is the purpose of having an elected CM, cabinet, ministers if they can not even pass budget? It’s an attempt to stop the government from functioning and harass people,” Gahlot alleged.
Following his address, AAP MLAs trooped into the well of the House raising slogans against the stalling of the budget, prompting the Speaker to adjourn the House till 12 noon.
Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Gahlot said the Delhi government has not received any reply from the home ministry on the budget.
He said the budget will be tabled after approval from the MHA is received On allegations of breach of privilege regarding sharing of budget details, he said, “It’s an issue pertaining to the House and the Speaker will take a call on it.”