House session ends, Kejriwal terms his govt ‘most accountable’ in India
As members of the sixth legislative assembly in Delhi met for the last Time on Tuesday before the elections early next year, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government ‘s tenure will be ending on a good note. He said he and several other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs had gotten “clean chits” from investigating agencies, and the Income-tax (I-T) department and judiciary.
Participating in a discussion on the issues arising from “the countrywide economic slowdown” and the measures taken by the Delhi government , Kejriwal said that the AAP had got “clean chits” even from the country’s chief auditor – the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
“The economic situation is deteriorating in the entire country. But in Delhi, it is improving. Apart from the surplus budget of the government, individual financial condition of people in Delhi is also improving. Our schemes such as free water and power, free medicines and treatment including surgeries, and also preventing fee hike in private schools have helped every household save ?5,000 per month at least,” Kejriwal said.
The chief minister said this has benefitted the 2.5 million families in Delhi and that it has resulted in a total annual saving of ?30,000 crore for them.
“This has been possible only because people of Delhi chose an honest government. Our government stopped corruption and bribery completely because of which we could roll out all the welfare schemes. Now that people are saving ?30,000 crore, this is automatically generating demand of various products and services in the national Capital. This is happening when all over the country, demand has hit rock bottom,” he said.
A CAG report on the state’s finances had on Monday stated that the Delhi government has maintained a revenue surplus over the last five years, even as the Centre reduced its grants in aid to the City administration by around 23%. The report also noted that tax revenue and non-tax revenue registered an increase of 14.70% and 101.05% respectively over the previous year (2016-17).
Kejriwal said that Delhi’s development model can be emulated across India. He also accused the BJP-led Union government of “promoting crony capitalism”.
The chief minister even went on to title his government as “the most accountable government ever in India” and called the AAP MLAs “the most responsible in the country”.
“All agencies controlled by our political opponents scrutinised us. CBI raided my office. For the first time a chief minister’s bedroom, my bedroom, was raided by the Delhi police. Houses of my fellow ministers Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Kailash Gahlot were also raided by the central agencies. They found nothing. We got clearance from the judiciary too. There were cases against 20 MLAs and none of them withstood in the court. Shunglu Committee inspected 400 files for many months and got nothing. No government in independent India has been scrutinized like this, that too by the political opponents,” he said in the House.
Deputy chief minister and Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia said, “People are saying that the current economic slowdown in the country is due to global crisis. But in our neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh economy is growing. Their GDP is increasing faster than ours. There is no global slowdown there? In these countries, there is high employment rate, better consumer spending. But in India, the trend alarmingly reverses. Now unemployment reached the peak in the last 45 years. We lost 9 million jobs.”