Rajasthan Budget 2023: State Assembly on Friday was left disturbed after the uproar and chaos by opposition members as they alleged CM Gehlot read the old budget document in the house. The drama led to adjournment for a brief time. Soon as the proceeding commenced for the second time, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot announced fancy schemes including free electricity to farmers, no new taxes, Rs 200 crore welfare fund and more. The major announcements by CM Gehlot has been mentioned here.
Free electricity to farmers
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday announced free electricity to more than 11 lakh farmers who consume less than 2,000 units per month. Providing uninterrupted power supply for farming is a priority for the state government, the chief minister said in his Budget speech for 2023-24. Farmers consuming up to 2,000 units per month will get free electricity from the 2023-24 financial year, Gehlot said.
He also announced the enactment of the Rajasthan Farmers Debt Relief Act in order to protect the land of small and marginal farmers from being auctioned off.
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No new taxes announced
No new taxes have been announced in the state budget for 2023-24. This is the last budget of the present government as assembly polls will be held in the state later this year. In the last four budgets too, no new taxes were imposed and relief was given to people, Gehlot, who also holds the finance portfolio, said while presenting the budget in the state Assembly on the theme of ‘Bachat, Rahat, Badhat’ (saving, relief and progress).
Old pension scheme for personnel
He further promised to provide benefits under the old pension scheme to personnel of various boards and corporations in the state. The chief minister announced the revival of the old pension scheme for state government employees in his government’s budget last year. Expanding that in the Rajasthan Budget for 2023-24, Gehlot said benefits of the old pension scheme will be granted to personnel of boards, corporations, academies and universities. He said this will benefit more than one lakh employees.
Enactment of the Gig Workers Welfare Act
Showing concern for the gig workers, he announced the enactment of the Gig Workers Welfare Act, the establishment of a board and a welfare fund of Rs 200 crore in his government’s Budget for 2023-24. He said gig workers work with companies like Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Amazon and others and their numbers are increasing. The scope of the gig economy is increasing and the number of gig workers has increased to 3-4 lakh in the state, Gehlot said, adding that till now, there was no arrangement of social security for them.
“To protect them from harassment, I propose to bring the Gig Workers Welfare Act, under which, along with the formation of the Gig Workers Welfare Board, a Gig Workers Welfare Fund will be established with Rs 200 crore,” the chief minister said in his Budget speech.
Inflation Relief Package
One of his biggest announcements of the day includes the inflation relief package of Rs 19,000 crore in the state’s Budget for 2023-24 to provide relief to the masses from rising prices. The package includes free food packets every month to poor families, LPG cylinders for Rs 500 under the Ujjwala Scheme and free electricity up to 100 units per month to domestic consumers.
Gehlot, who also holds the finance portfolio, announced to increase in the coverage amount from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh annually per family in his ambitious Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana. “I announce to give free Chief Minister Annapurna food packets every month along with free ration to about one crore families coming under the purview of the National Food Security Act,” he said.
76 lakh families included in the BPL
The Congress leader further said, “About 76 lakh families included in the BPL and the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana will get LPG cylinders for Rs 500 from next year. Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on this.”
100 units of electricity free of cost per month
He said, “Domestic consumers will be given 100 units of electricity free of cost per month under the Chief Minister’s Electricity Free Scheme. This limit was 50 units last year.” “With this, more than 1.04 crore families out of 1.19 crore in the state will be able to get domestic electricity free of cost. The state will incur a burden of Rs 7,000 crore on this,” he added.
Gehlot said the state government aims to provide free electricity to domestic users consuming 300 units per month in a phased manner. The chief minister also announced to increase the accidental insurance coverage from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh under the Chiranjeevi scheme.
(with inputs from PTI)
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