Minimum guaranteed income bill to be tabled in Rajasthan assembly - Hindustan Times

Minimum guaranteed income bill to be tabled in Rajasthan assembly

Jul 06, 2023 03:11 PM IST

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced the minimum income guarantee in his 2023 budget speech and is part of his efforts to provide social security to citizens of the state

The Rajasthan government plans to bring a law in the upcoming monsoon session that promises ‘guaranteed minimum income’ for the poor, officials said, just five months before assembly elections. Officials said Rajasthan will be the first state to have such a law.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot. (Twitter Photo)
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot. (Twitter Photo)

“We have prepared a draft of Mahatama Gandhi Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill, 2023. It will soon be submitted before the cabinet for tabling in the upcoming assembly session starting from July 14,” a senior government official said.

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According to the official, through the proposed law, the government intends to provide legal framework for all state pension schemes, and government-run urban and rural employment guarantee schemes.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced the minimum income guarantee in his 2023 budget speech.

“With this scheme, all families in the state will be able to get employment guarantee of 125 days every year, and a minimum pension of 1,000 per month in case of aged /disabled/single women. For this, an additional expenditure of 2,500 crore is being proposed,” the CM had stated in the budget.

The Rajasthan government provides social security pension to around 10 million beneficiaries at an annual expenditure of 9,000 crore. The central government provides 300 crore annually for pension of up to 300 per month to 1 million people in the state, the official said.

A senior official familiar with the development said that the draft of the Bill was prepared after the CM’s announcement. “The aim is to guarantee minimum income to the poor. The law will ensure that all beneficiaries are covered under different social security schemes and in case they are not, the government will ensure minimum income to them,” he said.

He explained that the idea of the new law is to provide legal framework to different social security schemes to ensure that the money promised to people is given to them. “For instance, the government provides 1,000 per month as pension to senior citizens, widows, single women, disabled. In addition to that, the government has promised unemployment allowance of 4,500 to women and the disabled, and 4,000 to men. The proposed law will be a guarantee to this amount,” he said.

The new bill is part of Gehlot’s efforts to provide social security to citizens of the state. This year, the CM aggressively ran Inflation Relief Camps in which people were provided registration for getting cooking gas cylinder for 500 every month, up to 100 units of free electricity for domestic consumers 200 units for agriculture connections, free ration kits under the National Food Security Act and free medical treatment of up to 25 lakh under the state’s Chiranjeevi Health Insurance scheme.

Political analyst Manish Godha said this was another populist and public centric initiative of Gehlot ahead of the polls. “What is more important is that it will guarantee the minimum income to the eligible individuals as most of the social guarantees were running with administrative orders but now with this Act, the schemes will get a legal framework,” he said.

BJP MLA and spokesperson Ram Lal Sharma, however, called it just another populist announcement which will never get implemented. “It aims only to gain power,” Sharma said.

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