Slamming the previous Congress government for irresponsible spending and the UPA government for cutting down the state’s allocations by almost half in the interim budget presented earlier this week, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Wednesday presented the interim budget for 2014-15, increasing the plan outlay by 16.02 per cent.
She also lashed out at the previous Ashok Gehlot-led government for making budget announcements in a hurry.
“The revenue and fiscal deficit remains uncontrolled in this fiscal year and therefore, in this quarter, we are only making efforts to control this. The state faces a fiscal deficit of around 3.56 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Rs 5,13,688 crore in 2013-14. This is beyond the ceiling of 3 per cent laid down under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act and, as result, we have to bear a loss of Rs 172 crore of interest rate relief,” Raje told the House.
A vote on account for the quarter ending July 31, 2014 was passed by a voice vote in the Assembly amid a walkout by the Opposition. Raje, who also holds the Finance portfolio, refrained from announcing any new tax regime or relief in the interim budget. She said the previous government had estimated plan expenditure of Rs 40,139 crore in 2013-14, which was being revised to Rs 42,498.81 crore.
Raje also said the UPA government has slashed allocations for the state by half in several sectors. “Irrigation, which is most important for this dry state, has received 50 per cent less allocation in the interim budget,” Raje said.
Meanwhile, the Congress, led by Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot, held a Jan Chetna rally in the state capital protesting against the Raje government’s regressive approach towards the previous Congress government’s pet projects such as the Barmer oil refinery, Jaipur Metro, pension and free medicine.
“The erstwhile Congress government in the state and the UPA government at the Center worked towards bringing development projects in the state, but the newly-elected BJP government has brought uncertainty to these projects. The Congress party might have lost the elections, but it will continue to work for the welfare of the people,” Pilot said.