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Gehlot cabinet sets up panel on loan waiver, increases pensions

First meet educational qualification for contesting local body polls removed; many BJP decisions overturned

jaipur Updated: Dec 30, 2018 15:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
gehlot cabinet,gehlot panel for loan waiver
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot arrives for the first cabinet meeting in Jaipur on Saturday(HT Photo)

The first meeting of the Ashok Gehlot cabinet took on Saturday many key decisions, such as forming an inter-department committee for farm loan waiver, increasing old age pensions, and removing educational qualification for contesting panchayati raj and urban local body elections.

Ratifying the Congress manifesto, the cabinet decided that the poll document will be the guideline for the government to formulate policies. The chief minister will form a cabinet committee for effective and timely implementation of the manifesto.

Briefing about the cabinet decisions, energy minster BD Kalla and health minister Raghu Sharma said the chief minister has been authorised to nominate the members of the inter-department committee on short-term crop loan waiver. This committee will decide the eligibility and criteria for waiver of farmers’ loans taken from cooperative, nationalised, regional rural and land development banks.

At the two-hour meeting, the cabinet rejected the BJP government’s decision on minimum educational qualification for contesting panchayati raj and local bodies’ elections. “This provision has been put an end to for ensuring participation of each person in decentralisation of power, so that all citizens have the right to contest elections,” Sharma said.

Direct election of mayor and chairman has been decided. The Congress had introduced direct election of mayor and chairman of local bodies, which the BJP government had removed.

Sharma said old-age pensions will be increased to Rs 750 from Rs 500 and to Rs 1000 from Rs 750 per month. The government decided to reopen Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Law University and Shri Haridev Joshi Journalism University, which were shut down by the previous BJP government.

The cabinet decided to use Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act, 2011 and Rajasthan Right to Hearing Act, 2012 to ensure hearing of common man with “transparency, answerability and sensitivity”.

Sharma said all letter pads of the state government will have Ashoka Pillar at the centre, instead of Deendayal Upadhyaya’s photo, which the BJP government had introduced. Effective implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the state will be government’s priority for which the chief secretary has been directed to submit an action plan soon.

The cabinet has decided to speed up work on Barmer refinery and complete the project on time. The project was started during the 2008-13 Gehlot government.

A committee will be formed to resolve the problems of contractual, NRHM, Lok Zumbish and anganwari personnel as well as para teachers, Urdu para teachers , vidyadhari mitra and panchayat assistants. “The government decided that the committee will hear the problems of these personnel and will take immediate decisions to resolve them,” Sharma said.

He said all ministers will ensure public hearing daily at their official residences from 9am to 10am.

First Published: Dec 30, 2018 15:21 IST