New Delhi: "My domestic finance is always
in mess. I am new to finance department… I am looking at it." This is how Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit
responded to a question on how she would handle the Finance
department which she wrested from senior minister A K Walia in
the cabinet reshuffle yesterday.
Dikshit will present this year`s budget on March 22 for
the first time in her 12-year-term. Walia, who has been
divested of the Finance portfolio in the reshuffle, had
presented the budget for seven consecutive years since he was
made finance minister in 2004.
Queried about her priorities as Finance minister,
Dikshit said she will try to reflect them in the budget. "I
will not say anything now. Wait for the budget." However, she
indicated that allocation for social sector would see a
Walia, seen as the biggest looser in the reshuffle, did
not turn up at the office today and his personal staff said he
could not come due to some other engagements.
A day after the reshuffle, in which Dikshit clipped
wings of her detractors, the mood in the secretariat was
somehow uneasy with most of the ministers turning up very late
and refusing to talk to the media.
Asked about the "uneasy mood" in the secretariat,
Dikshit only said, "We are smelling the change..it will
gradually sink in."
Newly inducted minister Ramakant Goswami said he will
take charge of his departments tomorrow only. A close aide of
Goswami said he was advised to take charge tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a notification was issued today formally
allocating portfolios to the the ministers.
As per the notification, Walia has been allocated
departments of Health and Family Welfare, Employment, Revenue
and Irrigation and Flood Control.
Arvinder Singh Lovely will continue to hold charge of
Education, Transport and Gurudwara Election and Administration
Haroon Yusuf has been entrusted portfolios of Power,
Food and Civil Supplies and Development.
Raj Kumar Chauhan has been allocated the Departments of
PWD, Urban Development, Land and Building and SC/ST.
Kiran Walia will look after the departments of Social
Welfare, Women and Child Development and Languages while
Goswami will be the Minister of Industries, Labour and