Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented the state budget 2017-18 earlier today. Starting her budget presentation Raje lauded about Rajasthan achieving various of awards and recognitions on national as well as international level. Announcing the new reforms made in the budget that was largely focused on aiding farmers and promoting tourism in the state, Raje stated that farmer will be benefited with programmes like ‘Fasal Beema Yojna’ and ‘Kisan Credit Cards.’ The Rajasthan CM also mentioned that the RSRDC would make roads of 410 km in Rajasthan and 5000 km of rural roads would be strengthened and revamped at a cost of Rs 800 crore.
The Budget session of Rajasthan Assembly began on on 23rd February which was speculated to be a stormy one as not only the opposition parties, but many leaders from the ruling party were also geared up to impose tough question to the state government. The state is currently dealing with issues like farming, interest of small-scale enterprise (SMEs) businesses, unemployment and the government had tried its best to cover the gaps in the announced budget.
Here are the top 5 highlights from CM Vasundhara Raje’s budget speech:
1. Composition scheme was announced for manufacturers having turnover up to Rs. 50 lac with the rate of composition fee 2 per cent was introduced in Rajasthan Budget 2017-18. Also to to benefit the MSMEs, non-clubbing of investment in different enterprises setup under the same ownership was announced. Further aiding the manufacturing industry, benefits of the RIPS-2014 for oil mills to promote farming of mustard and oilseed in state was announced.
2. Electricity Duty, Water Conversation Cess and Urban Cess exemption has been given to Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation for operations and 15 per cent hike of VAT on cigarettes has been announced as an initiative to curb tobacco and cigarettes use.
3. Rs 1,399 crore has been allotted for higher education in the budget. Cities like Karauli and Bharatpur will get new engineering colleges.
4. Deemed Assessment Scheme has been introduced for VAT, Entry Tax, Luxury Tax and Entertainment Tax in the state. The plan will be in effect for AY 2015-16 and subsequent years. Apart from that State pensioners will now get facilities to submit medical bills online and e- payments upon clearance.
5. In other new initiatives, 190 cities will get WiFi facilities in next financial year and fund of Rs 100 crore has been allocated to establish district hospital in Dholpur. Tourism in the state will be promoted using short films and ads and 41 lakh people will get pure drinking water.