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Rajasthan budget: Too little time left before polls to fulfil promises, say analysts

Coming after by-election defeats, the 2018-19 budget presented by chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday was along expected lines, offering sops to farmers, women and the youth. Political analysts, however, said it’s too little, too late.

jaipur Updated: Feb 12, 2018 22:10 IST
HT Correspodent
HT Correspodent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,State budget,Before polls
In the budget, chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced farm loan waivers of up to Rs 50,000 for small and marginal farmers. (AFP File Photo)

Coming after by-election defeats, the 2018-19 budget presented by chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday was along expected lines, offering sops to farmers, women and the youth. Political analysts, however, said it’s too little, too late.

With around 10 months left before the assembly elections are due, Raje has tried to woo all sections of the society but has little time to translate all announcements into reality, said analyst Narayan Bareth.

The by-election results showed a strong anti-incumbency against the BJP government and non-performance of its MLAs. Farmers, SC/STs, government employees and teachers were unhappy with the lack of development works, so were Rajputs and Brahmins, BJP’s core vote banks, Bareth said.

The chief minister has tried to pacify them with sops while not levying new taxes. Farm loan waivers of up to Rs 50,000 were announced for small and marginal farmers, setting up of a farmers’ debt relief commission was announced, lagan on revenue land was exempted and infrastructure development given a push.

Raje announced that almost 1.8 lakh government jobs will be filled up in the coming year. She also announced a substantial increase in the allowances of anganbadi workers. Two years’ child-care leave for women government employees was also announced.

In a symbolic gesture of remembering the old guard of the party, Raje announced new employment schemes named after late chief minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and late BJP leader Sundar Singh Bhandari.

Bareth said people gave a huge mandate to the BJP four years back but the government has wasted all the time. “Mere cosmetic attempts and packaging will not help now.”

Analyst Rajiv Gupta said the budget has only empty promises. “How will the government implement its promises? They don’t have enough time and they have failed to identify how they will get resources to implement proposals,” he said.

Gupta said the budget gives momentum to private sector. “The CM announced medical and agriculture colleges in private sector.”

He said loan waiver to small and marginal farmers was only a tokenism as they comprise a small number of total farmers in the state.

“This budget shows that the government has accepted defeat. They know they will not win the assembly elections so they have come out with empty promises that cannot be fulfilled,” Gupta said.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 22:10 IST