CM's Reply On Budget
Jaipur, Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje has said that the state government would give government jobs to one lakh youths. In past one year, jobs had been given to 1,45,566 youths in private and about 20,000 persons in the government sector. She said that she would keep her promise of creating employment opportunities for 15 lakh youths. She said that the tender process for the Isarda Drinking Water Project worth Rs. 480 crore would be finalized this month and the project would be completed on time.
The CM was addressing Rajasthan Assembly during her reply on the debate on State Budget 2015 on Friday. She said that for her politics was Rajdharma and election was a means to serve the people. She said that for overall development of the state, everybody should join hands and adopt financial discipline. Otherwise the coming generations would not forgive us. She said that this budget was not just a budget, but a roadmap for development of the state in years to come. Upcoming budgets would serve as supporting documents to this.
Smt. Raje said that her budget was an attempt to bring the derailed economy of Rajasthan back on the tracks. Focusing on this, instead of deficit, a budget worth Rs. 556.82 crore surplus had been estimated. She said that this was a dream budget of expectations, hopes and dream of the 7 crore population of the state.
The CM proposed thanks to the members of the house who participated in the debate on budget. She said that for Rajasthan to progress like South Korea, Singapore or Japan, all should dedicate their joint strength to the development of the state.
Criticizing the previous government for setting-up of refinery in the state, Smt. Raje said that it was a cheating with the public. Despite the state contributing for double the amount of the total cost of this project, its share was limited to merely 26%. Against the total cost of Rs. 37,400 crore, the state gave commitment to pay Rs. 56,400 crore cash, water, road and 4,800 acres of land at a nominal cost of Rs. 300 crores only. This way, it was a failed deal. Eyeing immediate benefit during elections, the then state government decided this case of investment worth Rs. 30,000 crores in just 30 hours. No financial and economic analysis was done for this project, she added.
Smt. Raje said that during her last tenure in the state administration, experts were consulted for Jaipur Metro project and they suggested it to be unviable. Despite this, the previous government started Jaipur Metro with project cost worth Rs. 11,732 crore. In its first phase only Rs. 3,400 crore were being spent to cover 11 kilometers lines. With this amount 110 flyovers or 5,000 kilometer long roads could have been laid, which would benefit the pubic directly, she said.
For the Metro project, the CM said that the state government forced the Jaipur Development Authority, RIICO, Rajasthan Housing Board etc. to become bankrupt. She said that now Rs. 50 crore would be needed every year for its operations. Also, the project suffered losses in early buying of rolling stocks for Jaipur Metro, she said.
The CM held the previous government responsible for poor financial state of the power distribution companies (discom) of the state. She said that between the year 2005 and 2008, short-term loan liabilities of the discoms increased by 117 percent, while between 2009 and 2014, the same hike sky-rocketed to 400 percent. The previous government also failed in reducing AT & C losses of the power sector and did not implement the MoUs signed for improving the financial position of these companies. They created a whole mess of the entire power sector network resulting in the debt burden worth over Rs. 77,000 crores.
Smt. Raje said that the financial mismanagement by the previous government had left every citizen of the state with a debt of Rs. 42,000 over her or his head. She said that at the end of year 2013-14, the total spending of the state government had increased to Rs. 1,47,000 crore. If the debts of the discoms and Rajasthan State Roadways Transport Corporation was added to it, the total debt on the state could amount to Rs. 2,90,000 crore. Even in such a deep financial crisis, the state government would make efforts to move forward taking everybody together and meet expectations of the people, she said.
Smt. Raje said that Resurgent Rajasthan summit was organized during her previous regime, but due to lack of time all the investment proposals could not be materialized on ground. Therefore, this time her government was arranging the event in the second year of her tenure so that big investments could be attracted and the same could be actually materialized 100 percent for the benefit of the state. She said that very soon the state government would launch new mining, tourism and IT policies.
On absence of the Opposition in the House during her reply to the budget, the CM said she was not feeling bad. It was against the parliamentary pride and the objective of a healthy democracy. She said that she attempted hard to end the ongoing deadlock and called upon the Government and Opposition sides to come together to serve the interests of the state.
As the Leader of House, Smt. Raje asked the Chief Whip of the government in the House to propose a motion for cancellation of suspension of the members of the Opposition. She further appealed to the Opposition benches to take this positively and support the government in ending the impasse. This would be meaningful for the budget session, she said.