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Rajasthan budget 2018-19: With farm loan waiver and cache of goodies, BJP aims to gain lost ground

Rajasthan budget 2018-19: After the dismal performance of the BJP in the recently concluded bypolls in Rajasthan, where it failed to win any of the three seats in the offering, the state government appears to have concentrated on preparing a largely populist budget.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
Updated: February 12, 2018 4:13:56 pm
rajasthan budget, vasundhara raje, rajasthan chief minister vasundhara raje, rajasthan assembly, rajasthan bjp government The new Rajasthan Assembly building. (Source: rajassembly.nic.in)

The annual budget of Rajasthan was presented by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje at the state Assembly on Monday morning, with the BJP government in the state coming up with several populist announcements in the last year of its tenure. The government came up with a one-time loan waiver for small and marginal farmers in the state upto Rs 50,000 in the overdue and outstanding category of short term loan provided by cooperative banks in the state. This move will cost Rs 8,000 crore to the state exchequer.

After the dismal performance of the BJP in the recently concluded bypolls in Rajasthan, where it failed to win any of the three seats in the offering, the state government appears to have concentrated on preparing a largely populist budget. The honorarium of Anganwadi workers has been increased and an announcement was done on recruiting 1,000 nursing training teachers who will be accommodated under child development projects.

Raje also announced a menstrual hygiene scheme and said that women under age group of 15-45 years will be provided sanitary pads through government intervention. Raje, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that senior citizens who are 80 years of age or more could avail free travel in buses of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) and their attendants will also get a 50 per cent discount.

Among other announcements, Raje also announced a maximum of two years childcare leaves for state employees and a subsidy upto 50 per cent of cost or maximum of Rs 40 lakh for establishment of bio gas plants in cow shelters. The government also announced the creation of Ambedkar Bhawan in each municipality area of the state with a budget of Rs 80 crore.

Provisions have also been made to provide subsidies of Rs 50 lakh for Nandi Gaushala (cow shelters) in each district and increasing fodder subsidy from 90 days to 180 days. Members of the opposition Congress protested several times during the two-hour long budget speech of Raje with speaker Kailash Meghwal appealing to the members to maintain order in the House.

The chief minister also announced Rs 25 lakh for Kamlesh Nagarkoti who was part of the Indian team that recently won the Under-19 cricket world cup.

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