Gehlot spells out 7 priorities in budget for FY2

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Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot here on Thursday presented the 2020-21 budget with a focus on education, health, and infrastructure as well as women, social security, youth, and farmer.

Gehlot announced seven resolutions of his government — Nirogi Rajasthan; Sampann Kissan; Mahila, Bal, and Vridhh Kalyan; Saksham Mazdoor, Chhatra Yuva Javan; Shiksha ka Paridhan; Pani, Bijli Aur Sadkon ka Maan; and Kaushal and Takneek Pradhan.

He announced Rs 14,533 crore allocation for the medical and health sector. Of this, Rs 100 crore has been granted for the Nirogi Rajasthan Management Fund.

Gehlot, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the second budget of the Congress government, which came to power in December 2018.

He said Saturdays would be ‘No Bag Day’ for students of government schools and the day would be devoted to activities like happiness, stay healthy, literature, culture, sports, personality development and moral values. It would also be the day for the parent-teacher meetings where teachers would update parents on their wards’ academic performance.

To promote sports in Rajasthan, Gehlot announced Rs 3 crore reward for sportspersons winning gold medals, Rs 2 crore for silver winners and Rs 1 crore for bronze medallists in the Olympics. Earlier, it was Rs 75 lakh, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 30 lakh, respectively.

Asian Games gold medallists will now get Rs 1 crore, silver winners Rs 60 lakh and bronze medallists Rs 30 lakh against the earlier Rs 30 lakh, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively. As many as 500 coaches will be appointed on contract to nurture sports talent.

The Chief Minister allocated Rs 100 crore for setting up a ‘Tourism Development Fund’ and said the policy for ‘ease of traveling in Rajasthan’ would be pursued.

Gehlot said those hurt in accidents could not be denied treatment by private hospitals. A law would be formulated to act against the erring hospitals, he added.

He proposed an authority to check food adulteration and food-testing lab in each district with a facility to generate online reports. Fast-track courts would also be set up to act against the accused, he added.

To monitor cancer cases, the cancer registry system would be set up. Under this, cancer cases would be registered in both government and private hospitals, he added.

The Gehlot government allocated Rs 5,000 crore for the construction of 15 medical colleges in the state. While the Centre would provide 60 percent of funds (Rs 3,000 crore), the state government would spend the rest of 40 percent (Rs 2,000 crore), he added.

The medical colleges in Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, and Bikaner will be set up as organ retrieval centers. A new ward to replace the cottage ward at Sawai Mansingh Hospital, Jaipur, will be constructed.

Of the Rs 3,420 crore allocated for agriculture, Rs 150 crore will be spent on construction of 12,500 ponds. Drip and sprinkler technology will be used to irrigate 30,000 hectares land and Rs 91 crore shall be spent on the same.

Rs 267 crore shall be spent on setting up 25,000 solar pumps, farm implements will be made available on rent, and 300 more agriculture machine hiring centers will be set up.

Gehlot announced Rs 450 crore for the Palanhar scheme, which will benefit 4.22 lakh children. The scope of the scheme will be expanded, and the hostel and half-way home will be opened at each division headquarters. The Rs 100 crore Nehru Child Protection Fund has been announced to check child trafficking and child labor.

Touching upon the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission Scheme, he said Rs 8,794 crore had been allotted for the PHED department. He said the Centre would be requested to increase its contribution to 90 percent from 50 percent under the scheme as Rajasthan had limited water resources.

Gehlot said water would be provided to every household through the Scheme. In the first phase, drinking water will be delivered to 4,327 villages in 16 districts, including Pali, Bhilwara, Nagaur, Kota, Bundi, Jhunjhunu and Sikar in 2020-21. It is likely to cost Rs 1,350 crore.

The government has decided to allocate Rs 18,350 crore to the Department of Energy.

Feb 21 (IANS)

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