Budget had touch of mother and wife: Dikshit



New Delhi: Delhi budget had a "touch of a mother as well as of a wife", Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, who presented it today, said pointing towards proposed enhanced tax on tobbaco products and sweetmeats.

"Lifestyles diseases are increasing in the city. To promote better food habit, I have increased VAT on 'namkeens' and sweetmeats. Mothers and wives are always concerned about health of family members and that way the budget has a touch of a mother and wife," Dikshit said to a news agency.

Dikshit said she increased the VAT on 'namkeens' and sweetmeats only to encourage people to have good food habit and not to collect more revenue.

"I also proposed VAT on unmanufactured tobacco like bidi to discourage people from consuming tobacco," she said.

Describing the budget as "forward looking", Dikshit, who presented her first budget in 12 years at the helm, said special focus has been given to ensure "inclusive growth" and to improve quality of life of the poorest of the poor.

"Our focus was to improve the quality of life of the poorest of the poor. It is a budget focusing on ensuring equitable development and inclusive growth," she said.

"We did not want to burden the common man. So no new tax has been levied. We have hiked the tax on diesel vehicles to discourage people from buying them as diesel vehicles pollute the environment," Dikshit said.

In her tax proposals, Dikshit proposed levying an additional tax of 25 per cent on existing tax rates on all diesel-propelled vehicles while Value Added Tax on bicycles having an MRP of upto Rs 3,500 has been removed to encourage people to buy bicycles.

The Chief Minister said adequate emphasise has been given to transport, education and health sector.

In the Rs 27,067-crore budget, the transport sector got the highest allocation of Rs 3,348 crore, followed by Rs 1,802 crore for health sector while education has been given Rs 1,247 crore.

"It is a balanced budget which will further boost the economic growth rate. Most importantly, we have managed to allocate Rs 13,600 crore as plan outlay which is 51 per cent of total outlay," she said.

PTI