Government of NCT of Delhi
Budget of Urban Development Department
Budget Analysis (2015-16) – Perspectives of Weaker Sections
Delhi Solidarity Group, New Delhi
State Budget is a mirror of the political mind of the ruling party. Budget in each of its sections is backed up by certain ideas and political objectives. Political power has a certain agenda and the underlying basis of this agenda can be judged from the budget documents. This brief report will demystify political commitments of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the homeless and poor people living in Delhi.
AAP came to power in Delhi during the last Delhi elections in February 2015 and won with a large majority. A relatively new party that has emerged and won the election in such a manner has reflected on the fact that the hopes of the people are high and they expect AAP to perform much better than the previous governments, especially in terms of serving the real needs of people.
This report is an attempt at showing how AAP has taken into consideration the housing, water and sanitation programs for the homeless and poor people of Delhi. Budget for these programs have been reduced for the general population and the population categorized as Scheduled Caste.
For housing purposes, the problem identified by the auditors is ineffectiveness of ‘Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board’ (DUSIB) which comes under the chairmanship of Chief Minister of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). Instead of making DUSIB effective, the government has decided to reduce the budget for shelters and low cost housing. Therefore, the Jhuggi Jhopadi Basti and Slum Dwellers should not expect housing/shelter benefit from AAP. For them, people seeking shelter and low cost housing are no more Aam Aadmi, at least in budgetary language, because construction of shelters and housing requires money , for which the budget is reduced from Rs 440 Cr (FY 2014-15) to Rs 329 Cr (FY 2015-16). Allocation in the year 2015-16 is even lesser than the actual expenditure of Rs 367.84 Cr during the FY 2013-14. This is a reflection of the party not keeping with its commitment towards the upliftment of the homeless and the poor in this city.
The Water Supply program of Delhi was supported with actual expenditure of Rs 796.78 Cr in the FY 2013-14. In the Year 2014-15, Rs 1249.2 Cr was allocated but reduced to Rs 1073.83 Cr in Revised Estimate. In the current FY 2015-16, the budget allocation has been reduced to Rs779 Cr (Rs 529 Cr State Grants + Rs 250 Cr Loan). The budget amount of the current year is less than the actual expenditure incurred during the FY 2013-14. It is to be noted that Delhi Jal Board works under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister of Govt. of NCT of Delhi. Itis difficult to understand, how the AAP led government will supply free water to the poor with a reduced budget. Poor people are getting water in the same manner as they were getting it before the emergence of AAP. It could be that during the later part of the AAP regime, people may suffer from a water crisis due to budget cut. Reduction in budget and free supply of water are contradicting each other. This is another reflection of the party not keeping with its commitment.
The total expenditure for Sewerage and Sanitation programs during FY 2013-14 was Rs 753.25 Cr. In the year 2014-15, Rs 812.93 Cr was allocated, which was increased to Rs 947 Cr in the revised estimate. In the year 2015-16 Budget allocation is Rs 901 Cr (Rs 501 Cr Loan + Rs 400 Cr State Grant). It is to be noted that the loan amount is higher than the State Grant in this budget. This is an indication that this situation could lead to privatization of the sewerage and sanitation program. the audit reports for water, sewerage and sanitation raised several questions related to the under-utilisation of funds and poor performance of the bureaucrats.
Audit report says that only 158 out of 685 Jhuggi Jhopadi Bastis had piped water facility where average population served by a public hydrant ranged from 250 to 300 persons against the standard of 150 persons. Waiting time at the public hydrant was 20 to 30 minutes and only 72 Bastis had sewer facility. This makes it clear that the Delhi government needs to allocate more funds for water, sewerage and sanitation. This is no doubt another reflection of the party not keeping with its commitment.
Delhi Budget at a Glance:
Looking at the budget presented by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi Government for the FY 2015-16, AAP has emerged as a better option for the people of Delhi as compared to the Indian National Congress (INC) and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). People from marginalised and weaker sections expect the new government to have a better budget as committed in political manifesto. To understand it we can see the total Budget at a glance in Table -1:
Table -1: Delhi Budget Allocation at a Glance (Rs in Cr)
|Non Plan Budget|
BE = Budget Estimate, RE = Revised Estimate, AE = Actual Expenditure
Over the previous year’s (FY 2014-15) revised estimate (Rs 16350 Cr), there is 16.2% increase in the Plan Budget (Rs 19000 Cr in the FY 2015-16) and 20% increase in the Non-Plan Budget in the present year. On an average increase is 18.22%. Now we will see that whether this increase is reflected in the programs directly benefiting to the poor people of the State Delhi.
Budget Allocation for Urban Development:
Table – 2: Allocation Demand No 11 at a glance (Rs. in Cr)
|URBAN DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT|
|PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT|
|LAND & BUILDING DEPARTMENT|
|HOUSING LOAN DEPARTMENT|
This budget analysis is made from the angle of the poor people in the need of housing, fresh drinking water and sanitation. These programs are covered mainly under ‘Urban Development Department’, Demand No. 11. This particular demand section of the budget document of the Government of NCT of Delhi covers five sub departments as shown in Table – 2.
Table – 3: Allocation / Expenditure in Housing Programs (Urban Development Department)
221680190 Housing – Assistant to PSU and other undertakings
|..||95 Grants to DUSIB for construction of Night Shelters (Sub Head)|
|..||93 Grants to DUSIB for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM) (Sub Head)|
|..||92 Grants to DSIDC for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM) (Sub Head)|
|..||91 Grants to DDA for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM) (Sub Head)|
|..||89 Rajiv AvasYojna (DUSIB) (Sub Head)|
|..||88 Grants to NDMC for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM) (Sub Head)|
2216 Housing – 80 General 789 Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes
|..||99 Grants to DUSIB for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM)(SCSP)(Sub Head)|
|..||..||..||98 Grants to DSIDC for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM)(SCSP)(Sub Head)|
|..||..||..||97 Rajiv AvasYojna (DUSIB) (SCSP)(Sub Head)|
|..||96 Grants to NDMC for construction of houses for weaker section (JNNURM)(SCSP)(Sub Head)|
|Total for SC|
|Total Housing General and SC|
In this study we will take only the allocation made in the “Urban Development Department” and omit rest of the four departments namely, Public Works Department (PWD), Power Department, Land & Building Department and Housing Loan Department.
In the year 2014-15 Budget of “Urban Development Department” was Rs 6474.13 Cr and in the year 2015-16 it is Rs 6719.44 Cr, which is a 3.79% increased. This budget is divided in different programs of the department. We need to see whether the allocations in relevant programs are in line with the political commitments of AAP. First we will take a look at the allocations for housing for the poor and shelters in Delhi.
From the above Table – 3, following facts can be observed:
- For the General Population, Budget Estimate of different housing programs in the year 2014-15 was Rs 387 Cr. This was reduced in the Revised Budget to Rs 194 Cr. In the current year 2015-16, it is limited at Rs 280 Cr. If we calculate both then the total budget is reduced by Rs 107 Cr.
- For Scheduled Castes population, Budget Estimate of different housing programs in the year 2014-15 was Rs 53 Cr. This was reduced in the Revised Budget to Rs 31 Cr. In the current year 2015-16 it is limited at Rs 49 Cr.
- Status of allocation for General and Scheduled Castes is calculated together. In total calculation, we see that the Total Budget Estimate in the year 2014-15 allocations was Rs 440 Cr for housing/shelter programs, which has been reduced to Rs 329 Cr in the year 2015-16.
- Provision for Grants of Rs 210 Cr was made in the Budget Estimate of 2014-15 for the program “Construction of Houses for Weaker Section (JNNURM) DUSIB”. It was reduced in the Revised Budget to Rs 170 Cr. In the year 2015-16, it was reduced further to Rs 125 Cr.
- Provision of Grants to Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) of Rs 130 Cr was made in the Budget Estimate of 2014-15 for the program “Construction of Houses for Weaker Section (JNNURM)”. It was reduced to zero in the Revised Budget. In the year 2015-16 it was limited to Rs 125 Cr.
- Provision of Grants to DDA of Rs 20 Cr was made in the Budget Estimate of the year 2014-15 for “Construction of Houses for Weaker Section (JNNURM)”. This budget was reduced to zero in the Revised Budget of 2014-15 and has been kept at zero again in the Budget Estimate of 2015-16.
In order to understand the implications of budget reduction it is important to understand how this budget is answering questions, which emerged from the findings of Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Relevant texts taken from the audit report are reproduced below:
Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB)
The Board did not form the Urban Shelter Consultative Committee and Basti Vikas Samitis and did not initiate any new housing scheme for relocation of residents of .Jhuggi Jhopari (JJ) Bastis.
The Board had neither prepared any long term perspective plan nor annual plan.
The roads and drainages in the JJ Bastis were in dilapidated condition. The Board failed to provide even basic facility of public toilets.
(Paragraph 22.214.171.124 & 126.96.36.199)
Irregularities were noticed in award of contract for running and management of night shelters.
The Board did not have a complete and reliable record of its properties of Rs. 232.1 0 crore was outstanding to be recovered from allottees of its properties.
Status of the implementation of various provisions of the Act is discussed in the subsequent paragraphs:
In terms of section 3 (4) of the Act, beside Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and other members, the Board should have a full time Member (Engineering), Member (Power), Member (Administration) and Member (Finance), all of the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India. However, Member (Engineering) has not been appointed as of December 2013. The post of Member (Administration) was lying vacant since January 2012. Similarly, the post of Member (Power) is also lying vacant since inception.
In its reply, the Board stated (Jan 2014) that there was shortage of officers in GNCTD. Initially, Member (Administration) and Member (Finance) were posted, but Member (Administration) was transferred.
Section 8 of the Act requires the Board to constitute an Urban Shelter Consultative Committee (USCC) to provide feedback on the status of Board’s redevelopment and other initiatives, felt needs and problems of JJ Bastis and suggest strategies for effective provision of basic infrastructure of services there. However, the same has not been constituted.
The Board accepted the facts (January 2014) and assured to form the Committee soon.
Section 13 of the Act requires the Board to constitute Basti Vikas Samitis (BVSs) for JJ Bastis to assist and advice on all matters relating to JJ Bastis. However, the same were not set up till January 2014.
In its reply, the Board assured (January 2014) that BVSs would he setup as soon as details like its mandate, members etc. are finalized.
As per Section 21 of the Act, the Board was required to prepare housing schemes for relocation of JJ Bastis and persons who are to be resettled or provided with alternative accommodation under any scheme for removal of any JJ Basti under Section 10 or Section 12 of the Act. Sub-Section 2 of Section 21 empowers the Board to prepare a scheme for housing for those belonging to economically weaker section, including low income group and poor categories. However, it was observed that no such housing schemes were prepared by the Board.
The Board stated (January 2014) that it had already initiated housing projects under JNNURM at four places. Reply is not acceptable as JNNURM scheme was not exclusively for JJ dwellers but it was for urban poor, fulfilling certain criteria. JJ dwellers who did not fulfil those criteria are not covered under the scheme. The Board allotted Dwelling Units to 3282 families out of 4675 families staying in 27 JJ Bastis who were eligible under relocation policy of JNNURM and no arrangements were made for remaining 1393 homeless families who were found ineligible under the policy of JNNURM.
Section 24 (2) of the Act provides that the Board shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts including the balance sheet, in such a form as the Government may, by rules, prescribe in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Section 24 (5) further provides that the accounts of the Board, as certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India or any other person appointed by him in this behalf, together with the audit report thereon, shall be forwarded annually to the Government and the Government shall cause a copy of the same to be laid before the Legislative Assembly of Delhi. However, Audit noticed that as of December 2013 the above provisions are not complied with.
A case of embezzlement of Rs. 19.44 crore was noticed in September 2010, where the Cashier did not deposit cash with the designated bank indicating lack of Internal Control.
The Crime Branch, GNCTD was investigating the matter (December 2013).
The Board stated (January 2014) that the scam happened due to failure of system in the erstwhile Department of Slum and JJ. The work of review andwriting the books of accounts had been awarded to a vendor and after finalization, the accounts would be submitted to Audit. However, the reply was silent on the format of accounts and framing of rules.
Section 12 (i) of the Act empowers the Board to work out schemes for collective community rehabilitation, relocation or in-situ up-gradation and involve private sector and slum cooperatives for redevelopment of Bastis with a view to bringing environment improvement in living conditions of the residents. Audit observed that though there was an outlay of Rs. 19.45 crore in the 11thPlan, but the Board did not launch any scheme for in-situ development of JJ Bastis, since its inception.
The Board stated (January 2014) that in-principle approval for taking up in-situ upgradation of three clusters on PPP model had been accorded in its meeting held in May 2013.
The Board became the owner of all properties of Slum and JJ Department of MCD with the commencement of the Act. However, it does not have a proper record of the properties transferred to it. As many of the Board’s properties are leased out, rented out or allotted for various purposes to different agencies and persons, a proper record of properties is essential for watching the revenue collection from their lessees and tenants. In 2012, the Board appointed a retired Chief Engineer as a consultant to prepare a list of its properties spread across Delhi, but he could prepare only a tentative list of properties.
The Board stated (January 2014) that the details of properties were available in various sections but were not arranged in a consolidated manner. A proposal for outsourcing the actual field survey of properties was under consideration. The necessity of preparing consolidated information on details of property is further reiterated.
Remarks: Based on the questions emerging from the audit observations, the responses of the AAP in the budget can be analyzed. DUSIB is the dedicated body for urban shelters and low cost housing but they do not have engineers and complete records of the properties. They also have cases of embezzlements and inefficient office work systems. There seems to be a bankruptcy of efficient and honest people. From the audit it is clear that the Board needs complete reform and capable persons need to be deployed so that they can execute the policies framed by the government. Definitely for those who are homeless and want shelter or low cost housing, AAP has proved to be disappointing because of budget reduction and nil budgeting. This means that while the government has constantly failed to utilize the estimated amount in the previous year, it has now been reduced considerably. Under certain schemes, they have chosen to not allocate any funds. As far as the Scheduled Castes are concerned, who are the most marginalized and who have trusted and supported AAP in order to access rights to fundamental need of housing have been betrayed. The order of reservation and backlog status of SC reservation in the housing programs is not a part of the budget and therefore no comment can be made on it in this report.
Injustice towards homeless and poor people is expected to continue in the regime of AAP because there is a reduction in the budgetary allocations for them.
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