Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed on May 10, 2021 that Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has spent Rs 804.93 crore on advertisements since 2015 but has not built a single hospital in the seven years it has been in power.
Since Delhi has seen new hospitals come up recently, Patra's claim is false. While two public hospitals have been inaugurated during Kejriwal's regime, one is under construction.
A 600-bed hospital in Ambedkar Nagar and a multi-specialty hospital in north-west Delhi's Burari were inaugurated by Kejriwal last year.
Approved during former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit's regime in 2013, the Ambedkar Nagar hospital was built on a budget of Rs 125 crore and inaugurated in August 2020. It started operations with 200 fully equipped beds for COVID-19 patients.
Similarly, another hospital in North-west Delhi's Burari opened for public on July 25, 2020 with an initial capacity of 450 beds.
After increase in number of cases in Delhi, beds for COVID patients in Ambedkar Nagar hospital was increased from 200 to 600 on April 18, 2021. Number of beds without ventilators were increased from 10 to 50. Whereas, in Burari hospital the number of beds were increased to 800. Out of these, 50 were with ventilators and 100 were non-ventilator beds.
Another hospital, Indira Gandhi Hospital with a capacity of 500 oxygen beds is under construction at Dwarka, tweeted Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain on May 5, 2021.
Factchecker analysis of the annual financial estimates of the Delhi Budget over the past seven years shows that Patra's claim on publicity spending is misleading. While he said Rs 804.93 crore were spent on advertisements since 2015, the actual amount is higher but it accounts for 0.35% of the Delhi Budget in the past seven years after taking into account the actual, revised and budgeted amounts for respective financial years. In fact, for health Delhi allocated 11.08% of the total budget in the past seven years.
The first Budget by the Aam Aadmi Party government was presented in 2015-16 by Manish Sisodia who held the finance portfolio of Delhi then.
The graph shows how much Delhi has spent under 'Information & Publicity' between 2015-16 and 2020-21.
Under this header, Delhi government spent Rs. 330 crore (85.92Cr+71.15Cr+12.22Cr+50.88Cr, chronologically) between 2015-16 and 2018-19. Whereas, based on the revised estimates, the budget allocation stood at Rs. 663.5 Cr (307.49 Cr+356.08 Cr) in 2019-2020 and 2020-21.
So, cumulatively, after taking into account the estimates of the current and last financial year, and the incurred amount, the expenditure of the Delhi government on information and publicity stood at Rs 993.75 crore from 2015-16 to 2021. The actuals of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 will be made available in the subsequent budgets.