Delhi’s finance minister and deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, on Monday presented the Budget for 2016-17. While the thrust of the proposed Budget was mainly on areas like education and health, PropGuide decodes what it seeks to provide for the real estate and related sectors.
Earlier, people living in jhuggis were relocated to houses situated in faraway places. As the houses constructed were too far, the slum dwellers preferred to stay in the same jhuggis. So, the slums continued to exist. The Budget has proposed to give slum dwellers pucca houses at the same location, by replacing the jhuggis.
Regularisation of colonies
Regularisation of colonies had been a major election agenda in Delhi. The Budget has stated that the irregular colonies that have completed more than 50 per cent of construction shall be regularised by the state government. This has come as a relief for the dwellers in such colonies as they would not have to live under the constant fear of demolition from authorities.
Development in unauthorised colonies
The government agencies had not taken up development of unauthorised colonies, but, under the proposed Budget, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) has been directed to begin infrastructural development of these areas by constructing roads and drains. For this, the government has allocated Rs 300 crore of funds.
Besides, Delhi Jal Board has been directed to chalk out a comprehensive plan for rainwater harvesting in these colonies.
Hostels for working women
The government has proposed to set up hostel for working women in the city’s Dwarka area. This is a welcome step, as this would provide affordable and secure housing for working women.
Making drinking water available to the people has been another focus area of this Budget. The government has proposed to make available drinking water through pipeline to all colonies in Delhi by December 2017. Drinking water has also been made affordable. Late payment charges on pending disputed water bills of the Delhi residents has also been waived by the government.
Road & transport
Public transportation has been sought to be strengthened. Construction of two new elevated bus rapid transit (BRT) system has been proposed, and 2,000 new buses will also be introduced in Delhi. These buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System (GPS), and CCTV cameras.
To further reduce air pollution, the Budget has proposed dedicated tracks for cycling, rebate in road tax registration for electric vehicles and vacuum cleaning of roads. And, to track the air quality, the number of monitoring centres will be increased from six to nine. So, not only transport but also pollution and road congestion will be adequately addressed by these measures.
Reduction in VAT rates
Value-Added Tax (VAT) rates have been rationalised and reduced from the earlier 12.5 per cent to five per cent, on many goods. This is likely to cut down on the purchase people used to make from neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Punjab, where the VAT rates were relatively low. This was hurting the Delhi traders and also causing loss of revenue to the Delhi government. The rate of VAT chargeable on marble has also been reduced to five per cent. This is likely to lower the construction costs, as the cost of inputs will now be less.