Jaipur, Feb 24 (PTI) The Congress-led Rajasthan Government on Wednesday presented in the state assembly the Budget for FY 2021-22, with main focus on healthcare and agriculture sectors.
State chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who also hold finance portfolio, presented his first paperless budget, which saw him announcing various proposals in his speech that lasted for nearly three hours.
Gehlot imposed no new tax and gave relief worth Rs 910 crore in the budget, which had health, agriculture and youths as main focus areas.
The chief minister said his government will bring a Universal Health Care scheme worth Rs 3,500 crore under which each family will get insurance benefit of up to Rs 5 lakh.
The healthcare scheme will be free for the beneficiaries of NFSA (National Food Security Act) and SECC (Socio-Economic Caste Census), contractual employees and small and marginal farmers. While other families will be able get the benefit of the scheme by paying 50 per cent yearly premium of about Rs 850.
For the first time in the country, any state is going to implement universal health coverage in the coming year at a cost of Rs 3,500 crore, Gehlot said, adding that a Bill on Right to Health will be introduced in the assembly.
Gehlot also announced to present a separate budget for the agriculture sector from next year.
He also announced a special Covid package under which 33 lakh destitute families, who were given Rs 3,500 each during the pandemic, will get two installments of Rs 1,000. Apart from it, 5 lakh street vendors, unemployed will get interest free loan of up to Rs 50,000 under Indira Gandhi Urban Credit Card Scheme for self-employment.
To revive school education from Covid-19 setback, he announced free uniforms for students up to class 8th and textbooks for class 6th to 8th, under ''Back to School'' programme in government schools.
Also smart TVs and set top boxes would be installed at all the government secondary and senior secondary schools and Kasturba Gandhi Residential Schools of the state for digital learning, he said.
Among other announcements were seed money of Rs 5 lakh for start-ups on the basis of project appraisal, starting recruitment to fill more than 50,000 posts, new agriculture power distribution company for ensuring availability of electricity for farmers, mobile veterinary service for animals, etc.
He said that his government has been farmer friendly and it will present an agriculture budget separately from next year in view of better future and interests of the farmers.
"The biggest challenge before us while making this budget was that despite the difficult economic conditions, there should be no shortage of resources for the development of the state. We are taking this resolution to mobilise economic resources with far-reaching thinking," Gehlot said.
Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, he said, "The last one year has been very difficult for all of us. We have strengthened the health infrastructure in the state, turning this disaster into opportunities. Corona RT-PCR investigation facility has been ensured in all districts of the state."
He announced a Rs 500-crore package for tourism development, which was severely hit due to the COVID pandemic. For the tourism sector, he announced Shekhawati Tourist Circuit, Godawad Tourist Circuit, and Religious Tourist Circuits.
Focusing more on the health sector, he announced nursing colleges in 25 district headquarters, public health colleges at divisional headquarters, 30 new public health centres (PHCs) and upgrading of 50 PHCs, 12,000 health and wellness centres and Ayush research centre in Ajmer.
The state government also announced ''Umaid PG institute of Maternity and Neonatology'' and ''Regional Cancer Institute'' in Jodhpur, Yoga and Naturopathy colleges in Udaipur and Jodhpur, and International Centre of Excellence in Panchkarma in Jodhpur.
In the sector of road safety, he announced a new Jeevan Rakshak Yojna, Integrated Traffic Management System, Primary Trauma Centre at 40 CHCs, Rs 100 crore for Dedicated Road Safety Fund.
Under the Jeevan Rakshak Yojana, Rs 5,000 and citation will be given to good samaritans who save lives in road accidents.
Gehlot announced increasing the unemployment allowance currently payable to eligible youth by Rs 1,000, and organising the common competitive exam for some examinations in the state.
Candidates participating in competitive examinations will be provided free travel in roadways buses, Gehlot said.
As many as 1,200 Mahatma Gandhi Government Schools will be opened in villages with a population of 5,000, he said.
For industries, the budget proposed new MSME policy, industrial areas in 64 sub divisions, ''Greater Bhiwadi Industrial Township'', new Marwar Industrial Cluster, Rajasthan Investors Summit at Jaipur, Fintech (Financial Technology) park in Jaipur, Biotech-Pharma Business Incubation and Research Centre in Jodhpur.
Other proposals included, Directorate of Food Safety for Effective Execution of Campaign against Adulteration, New State Road Policy-2021, Energy Policy 2021-2050, Directorate of Peace and Non-Violence, campaign for awareness on temperance and drug abuse, SGST reimbursement to purchase of e-vehicles and upfront buyers of 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler e-vehicles.
There was also a proposal to cut stamp duty on gift deed in favour of daughter in law from 2.5 per cent to 1 per cent, besides no stamp duty on gift deed in favour of grandchildren by grandparents.
Gehlot also announced to establish government girls colleges in the name of four legislators, Kiran Maheshwari (Rajsamand), Master Bhanwar Lal Meghwal (Sujangarh), Kailash Trivedi (Sahada) and Gajendra Singh Shaktawat (Vallabhnagar).
The budget 2021-22 has projected a revenue deficit of Rs 23,750.04 crore and fiscal deficit of Rs 47,652.77 crore.
The fiscal deficit is 3.98 per cent of the GSDP. PTI AG SDA MKJ