Delhi budget: Govt plans shopping festivals to boost economy

The Delhi government has planned shopping festivals to promote the retail and wholesale markets in the city, seeking to transform these places into tourist destinations and create jobs to boost the economy.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday presented a Rs 75,800-crore budget in the Assembly for the financial year 2022-23 in which the government has proposed a Delhi Shopping Festival and a Delhi Wholesale Shopping Festival with an outlay of Rs 250 crore.

Sisodia, in his budget speech, said goods of Delhi are considered reliable and trustworthy, and many people still shop from traditional wholesale and retail markets despite the presence of modern malls.

“Shopping at these conventional markets is considered a part of our traditional culture and ethos. Delhi has many famous markets, and we have planned to redevelop and modernise them so as to also make them attractive tourist destinations, aiming to create more jobs in the coming years,” he said.

For this market redevelopment, “five bazaars” have been identified initially, and Rs 100 crore outlay has been made in the budget for it, Sisodia said, adding that this redevelopment and its impact has a potential to generate 1.5 lakh new jobs.

The deputy chief minister cited the example of a wholesale shopping festival in China and its impact to emphasise the importance of the initiative.

For the Delhi Shopping Festival and the Delhi Wholesale Shopping Festival, a total outlay of Rs 250 crore has been proposed in the budget, he said.

Sisodia said these shopping festivals are planned to be organised for four-six weeks, in association with shopkeepers, traders and market bodies, during which shopping, entertainment and food will be promoted, and shoppers will get discounts too.

Delhi’s old retail and wholesale markets are located in Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Khari Baoli, Sarojini Nagar, Karol Bagh and Lajpat Nagar among other places.

In his speech, Sisodia dubbed the 2022-23 budget a “Rozgar Budget”, and said that in the next five years, the plan is to generate 20 lakh new jobs in Delhi through various measures.

This is the eighth consecutive budget of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
Sisodia also said that the per capita income of Delhi is 2.7 per cent higher than the national average.

In his budget address, he also proposed a food truck policy to promote local delicacies under which food trucks are to be allowed on the streets from 8 pm to 2 am.

Linda J. Picard

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