Budget 2020-21: ‘Nirogi Rajasthan’, Farmer Welfare Top Priorities For Rajasthan Government
A patient holds a bed railing after a surgery in a general ward at the Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment & Research Institute in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Budget 2020-21: ‘Nirogi Rajasthan’, Farmer Welfare Top Priorities For Rajasthan Government

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The Rajasthan government in its budget 2020-21 proposed a Rs 100-crore ‘Nirogi Rajasthan’ fund for healthcare, an authority to run campaign against adulteration and ‘no-bag day’ in all government schools on Saturdays, among others.

In the budget presented on Thursday in the Assembly, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who also holds the finance portfolio, imposed no new tax and gave a total relief worth over Rs 130 crore by making announcements such as relief in stamp duty on land patta, exemption of stamp duty on transfer of properties by weak micro, small, and medium enterprises.

Estimated revenue receipts in the budget were Rs 1,73,404.42 crore, estimated revenue expenditure 1,85,750.03 crore and estimated revenue deficit Rs 12,345.61 crore, whereas the estimated fiscal deficit stood at Rs 33,922.77 crore, which is 2.99 percent of the gross state domestic product. In the Budget Speech, Gehlot said the Budget was prepared on seven resolutions, including 'Nirogi Rajasthan', prosperous farmer, women, child welfare and education.

He also added that efforts have been made to ensure that development is not interrupted in the state despite various challenges. Gehlot also announced to set up a board of investment for granting approvals to investment proposals on a 'one-stop-shop' pattern, a Nehru Child Protection Fund for ensuring child rights and to check activities like human trafficking and child labour, and take strict action for adulteration and set up fast-track courts for this.

Also read: Rajasthan High Court Orders Cancellation Of Driving Licences Issued To Illiterate Persons

In order to promote sports, the chief minister announced to organise block- and district-level sports events and to increase the prize amount for those winning gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympic, Asian and Commonwealth games and hire 500 coaches to prepare players of international level.

He announced to increase the prize amount for a gold medallist in Olympic Games from the current Rs 75 lakh to 3 crore; for a silver medallist, the amount was increased from the current Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore; and from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1 crore for a bronze medallist.

Similarly, for the Asian and Commonwealth Games, the chief minister announced to raise the prize amount from the current Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1 crore for a gold medallist, from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 60 lakh for a silver medallist, and from the current Rs 10 lakh to 30 lakh for a bronze medallist.

Announcing 'no-bag day' in all government schools on Saturdays, the chief minister said cultural, sports, happiness therapy, personality development, scout and other activities will be conducted apart from parent-teacher meetings on Saturdays.

Expressing concern over deaths in road accidents, he said it will be mandatory for private hospitals to treat those injured in such cases, and if the treatment is denied, action will be taken against the hospital.

Referring to steps taken by Tamil Nadu to curb deaths in road accidents, Gehlot said a road map will be prepared to bring down the number of such fatalities, and a committee headed by the chief minister will be set up to review the situation. He also announced to give the Chief Minister Road Safety Prize to three districts of the state.

In the agriculture sector, the chief minister announced to increase the area under date farming to 1,500 hectare in the next four years, and made a provision of Rs 91 crore for micro-irrigation facility. In the energy sector, Gehlot announced to implement the rooftop solar system on a large scale in the state to promote renewable energy and every district headquarter and identified urban areas will be developed as 'green energy city'.

The budget also proposed to increase dearness allowance from 12 percent to 17 percent effective from July 2019 for the state employees and recruitment for about 53,000 posts.

In tax proposals, Gehlot announced that stamp duty on land patta issued by state government and local bodies will be calculated on the amount taken for patta instead of district lease committee rates or market price.

He also announced to exempt the transfer of properties by sick MSMEs from stamp duty. To give relief to the real estate sector, he proposed to decrease DLC rates by 10 percent and increase stamp duty by 1 percent.

In the Budget Speech, Gehlot said the state's share in the central taxes has been reduced by Rs 10,361.94 crore in the Revised Estimates of Budget 2019-20 by the Government of India as compared to the Interim Budget 2019-20

He said the state's share was estimated at Rs 46,411.08 crore in the central government's Interim Budget 2019-20, which was reduced to Rs 44,461.86 crore in the estimates of full Budget 2019-20 and its share came down to Rs 36,049.14 crore in the revised estimate of the Budget.

He said most of the financial indicators show that the economy is currently going through a tough phase. Apart from that, he also announced relief on motor vehicle tax on buses running on contract with the state government.

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