Jaipur, March 9: Chef Minister Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday tabled a Rajasthan budget of Rs. 1,66,000 crore in which many sectors infrastructure development, transport, agriculture, higher education and water resources gets the major allocation. While presenting a budget, CM Raje claimed that it has "something for everyone".
The budget projected an estimated fiscal deficit for 2017-18 at 24,753 crore, which is 2.99% of the GSDP and the estimated total revenue receipt for the financial year at 1,30,162 crore. The estimated own tax revenue for 2017-18 was 8.34% of GSDP.
CM Raje presented a 1,66,000-crore budget in the State Assembly and said no new tax proposal is made in the budget except a 15% increase in the value added tax on tobacco products. Among the tax proposals, a composition scheme for micro and small enterprises having turnover up to 50 lakh was introduced with the rate of composition fee at 2%. New reliefs were also provided in the stamp duty and registration fees.
CM Raje also stated that the state government is giving the highest priority to the issues of farmers and protecting the interests of entrepreneurs and small-scale businessmen while creating jobs for the unemployed youths.
CM Raje proposed to spend Rs 1,200 crore on "development of 'Gaurav Path' and missing links" besides building and renovating 5000 km of rural roads at a cost of Rs 800 crore and earmarking Rs 580 crore to spend on 15 projects of state highways development. Health care facilities for women, WiFi internet, soil health cards for farmers and sports academies, were also announced by CM Raje.
The budget also allocated nearly Rs 16 crore to maintain airstrips in the state, she announced. For the development of tourism in the state, which registered a rise of over 17.31 percent tourists arrival in 2016-17, the budget allocated Rs 88 crore, with a provision of another Rs 36 crore for developing tourists facilities. Another sum of Rs 36 crore was allocated for basic infra, conservation, beautification and renovation work at various tourist places in the state.
However, other highlights of the budget included Rs 5,600 crore for the home department, which is 11.80 percent more than the previous year. CM Raje announced that block headquarters would be connected with fibre and eight lakh people would be given IT training in 2017-18. The budget also allocated Rs 158.63 crore for art, culture and archaeology department, raising the allocation by 49.42 percent over the revised estimates of 2016-17.
Allocating Rs 1,399 crore for the higher education, the budget envisaged opening two new engineering colleges in Karauli and Bharatpur. Several incentives for meritorious students from economically backward classes, including Scootys for girls, formed a significant part of the fourth state budget presented by Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje.