Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday showered the state with goodies -- including creation of 15 lakh jobs -- in an apparent show of gratitude to the people for their massive mandate in the assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
In her budget for the year 2014-15, Raje announced seven new medical colleges, a massive infrastructure development project involving highways and district roads and several new schemes to promote tourism besides several other populist measures.
Raje – who also holds the finance portfolio -- announced her government's decision to renegotiate the controversial oil refinery-cum- petrochemical complex in Barmer, a major campaign issue for the ruling BJP.
The BJP returned to power in the state in December last year with an astounding 163 seats out of 200. In the Lok Sabha polls, the party bagged all the 25 seats.
"My government's commitment is to make Rajasthan a developed and prosperous state by 2020. For that we need to increase the GDP to 12%…we have to invest heavily in roads, power, water, housing, education services," she said in her budget speech in the assembly.
Raje spoke for over 2 hours and 15 minutes without any break.
In a big thrust to healthcare, Raje said seven new medical colleges, with 100 seats each, will be set up in Bharatpur, Alwar, Churu, Dungarpur, Barmer, Pali and Bhilwara districts with an allocation of Rs. 189 crore each.
The chief minister also proposed establishing tertiary cancer care centres in Bikaner and Jhalawar districts besides new super-speciality wings in Bikaner, Udaipur and Kota medical colleges.
Raje also announced a road development programme covering all the state highways, major district roads and roads leading to tourists and religious destinations including six roads of 1,000 km as an east-west corridor.
Terming tourism an economic mainstay and serious business for Rajasthan, Raje doled out several new programmes and initiatives to promote tourism and increase tourists' influx.
Development of a 'mega desert tourist circuit' comprising Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Pali, Mount Abu and Sambhar was a major announcement under which works for heritage conservation, landscaping and other works would be initiated.
Raje also made announcements to improve air connectivity in the state and said the government would sign an MoU with Pawan Hans for providing helicopter services to various religious places in the state.
Raje announced a total plan outlay of Rs. 69,820 crore for 2014-15 compared to Rs. 40,500 crore for 2013-14, an increase of 72%.
She also sharply attacked the previous Congress government for fiscal mismanagement which left the state burdened with a debt of Rs1,30,000 crore.