Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday sought Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s support for Rajasthan’s loan waiver scheme for 24 lakh farmers affiliated to cooperative banks costing the state exchequer ₹15,679 crore.
Gehlot said the state further plans to waive crop loans from the nationalised banks, scheduled commercial banks and rural regional banks up to ₹2 lakh per farmer. He sought the Centre’s help to the state in having a one-time settlement with the banks for loan waiver.
Discussing financial issues related to Rajasthan, he requested the Centre to give approval to pending drinking water projects and ensure timely release of funds for the centrally sponsored schemes.
Gehlot said that as per the past practice the state’s share in the central taxes should be released to respective states on the first date of the month. As this practice had been changed in the past few years, the states were facing financial issues. The states have to make payments towards salaries and pension on the first date, which becomes difficult, he said.
The chief minister requested Sitharaman that financial proposals of seven drinking water projects costing ₹5,473 crore should be approved at the earliest. He asked for approval for the proposal for external financial aid for the Phase 3 of Rajiv Gandhi Lift Canal Project costing ₹1,450 crore. This project will provide drinking water to 2014 villages and five towns of Jodhpur, Barmer and Pali districts till 2051.
Gehlot said Rajasthan has several drinking water projects proposed with the help of Japanese aid agency JICA. These proposals are pending with union ministries of drinking water & sanitation and urban development.
Gehlot suggested that the states should be allowed to take loans up to 4% instead of 3% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to ensure no dearth of funds for development projects. He said the Centre should make the procedure for the states to take loans from the open markets a stable one.
At NITI aayog meeting
Gehlot also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) a national project. He also said that implementing the Ayushmaan Bharat Yojna would deprive health insurance cover to about 40 lakh families in the state.
Gehlot, who was attending the 5th Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog in Delhi said presently available health insurance scheme in the state was benefitting about 1 crore families identified under the NFSA, while the Ayushman-Bharat Yojna would provide benefit to merely 59.71 lakh families as per the 2011 census.
First Published: Jun 16, 2019 09:50 IST