Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented Rajasthan’s first paperless budget. Gehlot took two hours and forty-seven minutes to complete his budget address. No new taxes have been imposed on the people. Rather gave Rs 910 crore rebate on different tax heads have been announced.
With a special focus on the agriculture sector, the government announced that it would present a separate budget for agriculture from next year. Thus, Rajasthan will be the first state in the country that would have a special budget for the farmers.
Gehlot’s budget speech was the longest ever and he surpassed the record of the Union finance minister, who delivered a two-hour-and- thirty-nine-minute speech.
The CM also announced the Krishak Sathi Yojana under which a separate power company will be set-up for the agriculture sector that would provide direct benefits to the farmers and will have a different tariff structure.
Gehlot announced a scheme to provide cashless insurance to all families of the state. This scheme will be introduced on the lines of the Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Health Insurance Scheme. In this new scheme, all the contract employees, small and marginal farmers of the state will get free insurance. The general families will now be able to get the benefit of the health insurance scheme by paying 50 per cent premium on the insurance. Such families will be able to avail the benefit of health care in both state-run as well as private hospitals.
He also announced that it would introduce the Right to Health Bill. He said that at present only the families associated with the National Food Security Scheme (NFSA) under the Mahatma Gandhi Health Insurance Scheme get the benefit of cashless insurance. But under the new scheme, the state government will implement universal health coverage at a cost of Rs 3,500 crores.
Under this, each family of the state will be provided cashless insurance up to Rs 5 lakh. Under this, normal families will have to pay 50 per cent of the premium for cashless insurance, which will be Rs 850, while all contract workers, small and marginal farmers will be provided free insurance under this scheme. Gehlot said that Rajasthan will be the first state in the country to provide such an insurance facility.
Release of withheld salaries
The CM announced the release of salaries worth Rs 1,600 crores of government employees that were withheld during the COVID-19 period.
To boost the real estate sector, the budget announcement gave 10 per cent reduction in DLC (government’s estimated price in an area) rates. The stamp duty on the flat costing Rs 50 lakh was also reduced from 6 to 4 per cent.
The government will give free sanitary napkins to all women and it will cost the exchequer a total of Rs 200 crores. The CM also announced free travel by bus on the government-run Rajasthan State Roadways Corporation for youngsters travelling to appear in competitive examinations.
Gehlot also announced that the government will open 1,200 English medium schools. The government announced the opening of Kiran Maheshwari Kanya College in Rajsamand, Gajendra Singh Kanya College in Bhinder, Master Bhanwarlal Kanya College in Sujangarh and Kailash Trivedi Kanya College in Gangapur. These colleges have been named after the departed MLAs.
Rural bus service will start again with new vehicles. This bus service was discontinued under the BJP rule. There will be a Rajasthan festival in all districts on March 30. Rajasthani films produced and filmed in the state will be given a support amount of Rs 25 lakh and 100 per cent discount on GST.
Rajasthan Fiscal Indicators
- Estimated revenue receipts: Rs 1.84 lakh crore
- Estimated revenue expenditure: Rs 2.15 lakh crore
- Estimated revenue deficit: Rs 23,750 crore
- Estimated fiscal deficit: 47,652 crore
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