Jaipur, May 16: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot recently presented his government’s budget for 2012-13, in the state assembly with an aim to promote the welfare of the common people of the state.
Looking into the three previous budgets presented by the state government so far, there is a clear indication that this government is keen to provide the maximum relief to citizens of the state, while simultaneously arranging financial resources for developmental schemes and projects.
Gehlot, who also has additional charge of the state’s finance department, has prepared a people-friendly budget to ensure the right kind of development in Rajasthan.
All four budgets of this government so far have the imprint of Gandhian thoughts and theories, for which Gehlot is known.
He always keeps the plight of the poorest of the poor in mind while formulating government-related schemes.
The first and foremost aim of the government is to uplift the downtrodden sections of society.
Take for example the Mukhya Mantri Nishulk Dava Yojana. This state government scheme provides healthcare facilities to all citizens of the state.
In Rajasthan, all citizens are entitled to get more than 200 essential medicines free from government hospitals as and when required.
The successful implementation of this scheme has become role model for other states. So far, Rs.105.29 crore has been spent on providing proper treatment. About 100.16 lakh people have utilized this facility between January 1, 2009 and October 31, 2011.
The state government has also started a “MAA” Rajasthan Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana, the main aim of which is to promote safe deliveries of babies and ensuring the safety of the mother.
Pregnant women and new born infants are provided free medicines and free investigation facilities at government-run hospitals. They are also provided free food and free transport from their homes to the hospital and back.
In an emergency that could arise within 30 days of discharge from a hospital, free transport is provided to women and infants.
An incentive of Rs.1400 is being provided to the women in rural areas, while Rs.1000 is provided to women in urban areas.
The Rajasthan Government has also started the Mukhya Mantri BPL Jeewan Raksha Kosh. Under this scheme, 12 more category of patients have been included, and free treatment is provided to BPL, state BPL astha card holders, HIV/AIDS patients, old aged, widows, handicapped pensioners ,beneficiaries of navjeewan scheme etc.
Under the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, financial assistance to BPL and other poor patients for the treatment of serious diseases has been upgraded.
The ceiling of annual income of common people has been increased from Rs. 24000 to Rs. 60000. So far, a sum of Rs.85.11 crore has been provided and 32,356 people have benefited from this scheme.
The Mukhya Mantri Gramin BPL Awas Yojana, is another flagship programme of the government. Under this scheme, about ten lakh houses are being constructed for poor families in Rajasthan’s rural areas.
The government has been preparing an “affordable house scheme” for urban areas also.
Under this scheme, 15 schemes have been sanctioned in seven cities and construction of more than 12000 houses is under process. About 80000 houses are to be constructed soon.
Initially, doubts were expressed about the viability of the scheme, but soon the scheme started getting appreciation from all quarters.
Though the scheme is funded by the center, the responsibility of the state government is to implement the same.Like the free medicine scheme, this scheme has also drawn the attention of many other states.
The Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act is another important initiative of the government, aimed at solving the day to day problems of the common man, who used to run from pillar to post to get their minor work done by government departments.
Under this unique law, the common man can get documents like birth and death certificates within the stipulated time, and if the concerned government functionary failes to provide the service, he will attract a fine for his lapse.
The government has also said that the common man has the right to appeal if his problem is not solved in time.
Realising the importance of power, the state government in its first budget allocated nearly half of its financial resources for this sector.
It has formulated schemes to generate an additional 13000 MW of power by 2013.
Now, with the allocation of coal blocks, the state government has started work on super power projects with a pace.
Rajasthan has ample sunlight and winds, which have enormous potential to generate power.
The state government has formulated a separate policy for power for this sector, which is attracting huge investment.
The government is sure that areas in western Rajasthan would soon become major hubs of solar and wind energy and made a promise that it would provide at least six hours of uninterrupted power supply to the agriculture sector.
To provide enough power for the state’s rural areas, the government is working on schemes to provide power connection to Dhani’s (small hamlets) where the average population is about 300.
Similarly it has drawn another scheme to provide power connections to group of villagers in the Dhani’s where the average population is only 100.
Providing employment to youth is a priority for any government. To keep this promise, government is all set to provide jobs to about 40000 youths as Grade-III teachers in government schools.
The government has started the process to recruit about seven thousand constables to meet the growing demand of the police administration.
The long awaited Police Commissionerate System has been implemented in Jaipur and Jodhpur and is yielding, good results, as the crime rate has dipped comprehensively.
Rajasthan is a perennially a water deficit state. It only has one percent of the country’s water resources, but nearly five percent of the nation’s population.
Though the Indira Gandhi Canal is providing drinking and irrigation water in parts of western Rajasthan, still a large part of the state has no water.
Therefore state government has so far spent over Rs. 5799 crore in rural and urban areas to make water availability easier.
Chief Minister Gehlot is pursuing the center to give a special status to Rajasthan because of geographical reasons.
Oil was found in Barmer about a decade back. But its commercial production has been started by this government only recently.
To make the transport system in the state more effective, the state government has introduced the metro rail system in Jaipur.
It has so far sanctioned an investment of Rs. 9732 crore to make the Jaipur Metro Rail Project a reality in close association with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
The Mukya Mantri Suraksha Yojana ensures that poor families get 25 kilograms of wheat every month at the rate of Rs. 2 per kg.
If a family wants fortified flour instead of wheat, then same will be provided at Rs.3.60 per kg.
Over 36 lakh poor families have benefited so far and a subsidy of Rs. 350 crore has been provided for this scheme.
The state government has also given a subsidy of Rs. 25 on each LPG cylinder for domestic use.
A sum of Rs. 125 crore as subsidy has been given by the government on five crore cylinders being sold in the state every year. (ANI)