Dy CM Diya Kumari presents interim budget

Focusses on infrastructure development and social welfare initiatives. Full budget in July.

Rajasthan’s Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister, Diya Kumari, presented a Vote on Account (Interim Budget) in the Assembly on Thursday. A comprehensive Budget for 2024-25 is scheduled for presentation in July. According to Article 116 of the Constitution, a Vote on Account is presented to cover essential government expenses for a limited period until the Budget is approved. It typically covers a few months’ expenses, amounting to one-sixth of the total estimation.

The Finance Department of the Government of Rajasthan presented outlining the key points of the Budget Estimates for the fiscal year 2024-25. Here are the salient features:

1. People’s Trust and Development Goals:

·         The government is committed to good governance and aims to develop Rajasthan into a Developed State.

·         Initiatives like “Suraj Samkalp ki Siddhi” have been launched to fulfill promises made to the people and assurances given by the Prime Minister.

2. Addressing Immediate Needs:

·         Measures such as providing LPG cylinders at subsidized rates, increasing meal quantity under Shri Annapurna Rasoi, and enhancing financial assistance under various schemes have been undertaken to alleviate the burden on poor families.

·         Efforts have been made to tackle issues such as paper leaks through the establishment of a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

·         Social welfare schemes have been expanded, including increasing monthly pensions and relaunching pension schemes for prisoners.

3. Critique of Previous Government’s Policies:

·         The previous government’s policies have been criticized for contributing to a substantial debt burden and mismanagement in various sectors, including electricity and infrastructure.

·         Lack of progress in key areas such as the Jal Jeevan Mission and education infrastructure has been highlighted.

4. New Commitments and Announcements:

·         The government has pledged to maintain regional development balance through investments in deprived areas and infrastructure development, including roads and electricity.

·         Various schemes have been introduced to promote agriculture, employment, education, and sports, with a focus on empowering marginalized communities and youth.

5. Budget Estimates for 2024-25:

·         The total expenditure for the fiscal year is estimated to be Rs. 4,86,615 crore, with revenue receipts of Rs. 2,58,378 crore.

·         The revenue deficit is projected to be Rs. 23,869 crore, while the fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs. 67,240 crore, representing 3.95% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

·         The debt-to-GSDP ratio is calculated to be 37.48%.

6. Amnesty Schemes and Ease of Doing Business:

·         Amnesty schemes have been introduced to promote industry and investment by providing waivers on pending demands.

·         Measures to improve the ease of doing business include simplifying registration processes, rationalizing tax rates, and introducing online services for document registration and vehicle fitness tests.

Overall, the budget aims to address immediate needs, fulfill campaign promises, and promote economic growth while addressing past shortcomings and implementing measures for fiscal responsibility and governance improvement.

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