Rajasthan to present first paperless budget tomorrow
Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan will present its first paperless budget on Wednesday. This year’s budget is the third budget presented by the Gehlot government in the state.
After Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan is the second state in the country to table a paperless budget. Gehlot, who is also the state finance minister, will read out the budget from a tablet at 11am.
The government this time will be providing a soft copy of the budget to MLAs on a tablet, instead of a hard copy.
Experts believe that this will probably prove to be the Gehlot government’s most challenging budget as they did not get ₹25,000 crore in revenue from taxes because of the pandemic. The government has already taken a loan of ₹40,000 crore, which is ₹14,000 crore higher than the last financial year.
However, a senior official of the finance department, requesting anonymity, claimed that the state revenue had done better in comparison to last year (2019-20).
The idea, the official said, is to go paperless – the questions asked by members and the replies consume thousands of sheets of paper.
He said besides, the agriculture and health sectors, the budget will focus on governance and use of information and technology. “The pandemic has taught us importance of technology and ways to save unnecessary expenditure and time, such as by holding department meetings online,” he said.
Sources in the government believe that the government could announce new jobs, increase in honorarium to Anganwadi workers; and resuming rural bus services etc.
Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said, “We expect that the budget will be inclusive and fulfil the aspirations of the state. The budget will be growth-oriented.”
Senior BJP MLA Narpat Singh Rajvi said, “We don’t expect anything from budget, especially looking at the zero implementation of the last two.”
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