Dr. Subhash Garg, Rajasthan's Minister of State for Technical Education has demanded a special category status for Rajasthan. His demand is based on the premise that the cost of service delivery in Rajasthan is higher than that of other states in India.
Speaking at the meeting of State Finance Ministers in New Delhi on 30 December, Dr. Subhash said that due to the investment friendly policies of the State Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan is emerging as the biggest investment hub of the country. He said that the Investment Rajasthan Summit is also going to be held in the state on January 24 and 25, 2022, in which 487 agreements worth more than Rs.5 lakh crore have been signed so far, which is expected to provide employment to about 3 lakh 28 thousand people.
The meeting, held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi was a pre-discussion on the upcoming budget and included the Finance Ministers of all states under the chair of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project be declared National Project
Dr. Garg demanded that the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project should be declared a national project. Along with this, 100 percent expenditure should be borne by the central government by sanctioning five main projects of desert and tribal areas. By doing this the investment climate will improve in the whole of Rajasthan. Dr Garg said that for the successful implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, the funding ratio of the Central and State Governments should be 90:10. Also, the period of recharge of central share in this scheme should be extended by 2 years to March, 2026.
Increase Revenue Deficit Grant
Dr Garg said that the state economy has been affected due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. In such a situation, the revenue deficit grant should be increased from Rs 4,862 crore to Rs 9,878 crore for the year 2022-23 and the said grant should be continued from 2023-24 to 2025-26. He demanded in the meeting that the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission should be relaxed. Giving this relaxation, the general borrowing limit should be raised to 5.0 per cent of GSDP for the year 2021-22 and 4.5 per cent for the year 2024-25 from 2022-23. Apart from this, there should be an increase in the gross loan limit allowed to the state by the Government of India.
Remove Ceiling on premium in Ayushman Bharat scheme
He said that under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, there is a ceiling of Rs 1,052 per family per year. The state government has included 59.71 lakh social, economic and caste based Census, 2011 families as well as 1.1 crore families by adding NFSA families.