Rajasthan demands special category status in FM meet
Rajasthan's Minister of State for Technical Education Dr Subhash Garg raised the demand for special category status for the state as the cost of service delivery is higher than other states.
Garg was representing Rajasthan in a pre-budget meeting with the Finance Ministers of states on Thursday at Vigyan Bhavan here, chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
He said that due to the investment friendly policies of the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan is emerging as one of the biggest investment hub of the country. He said that an 'Invest Rajasthan Summit' is being organised on January 24 and 25 in which 487 MoUs worth more than Rs 5 lakh crore will be signed, which is expected to provide employment to about 3,28,000 people.
Garg demanded that the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project should be declared a national project soon. Along with this, 100 per cent expenditure should be borne by the Central government by sanctioning five main projects in the desert and tribal areas. By doing this the investment climate will improve in the whole state.
Garg said that for the successful implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission, the funding ratio of the central and state governments should be 90:10. Also, the period of recharge of the central share in this scheme should be extended by 2 years to March, 2026.
He added that the state's economy has suffered badly due to the second Covid wave. 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 grant should be continued from 2023-24 to 2025-26. He demanded that the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission should be relaxed to raise the borrowing limit to 5 per cent of the GSDP for the year 2021-22 and 4.5 per cent for the year 2024-25 from 2022-23.
He said that under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the current ceiling put by the central government should be removed to accommodate maximum people in the scheme.
Garg said that at present the import duty on gold and silver is 7.5 per cent and on platinum 10 per cent. This should be brought down to 4 per cent so that Indian products can compete with that of Dubai, Singapore etc. He requested that the existing basic customs duty on import of vitrified tiles should be increased from 10 per cent to 25 per cent in order to save the local mining industry which is suffering huge losses due to foreign imports. -IANS
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