‘State budget may be pro-poor, focus on rural growth’
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who also holds the finance portfolio, will on February 12 present her government’s last budget before Rajasthan goes to polls later this yearjaipur Updated: Feb 03, 2018 22:04 IST
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who also holds the finance portfolio, will on February 12 present her government’s last budget before Rajasthan goes to polls later this year.
Analysts said the budget is expected to be pro-poor and focus on rural growth in the wake of setback in by-elections as the government seeks to address farm distress, unemployment and boost economic growth.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Rajasthan state council chief Atul Sharma said the thrust will be on agriculture and allied areas to boost rural income and the other major focus will be schemes meant for poor.
“We may see new rural schemes such as irrigation projects to boost farm income,” he said.
Also on the menu may be increasing spending on infrastructure projects for the benefit of urban residents. “As for urban areas, the government could focus on infrastructure but these schemes take long time to materialize.”
The state’s fiscal deficit that was 3.62% of GSDP (gross state domestic product) in the last financial year was estimated to drop to 3% in the current financial year and the latest numbers will be revealed in the forthcoming budget.
Analysts, however, are not optimistic about the projected fall in fiscal deficit.
“Apart from UDAY scheme, the implementation of the seventh pay commission recommendations will take a toll on the fiscal deficit,” an industrialist, who did not wish to be named, said.
“The government will be looking to boost the expenditure and fiscal deficit will not be a constraint as this is the last budget before the elections,” the industrialist said.
Confederation of Indian Industry vice chairman Anil Saboo said the state budget will follow in the footsteps of the Union Budget and measures will be taken for poor.
“As for the revenue generation, borrowing is not a solution as it is unsustainable and will lead to fiscal deficit shooting up. The government should promote tourism sector, which is a cash industry, and micro, small and medium industry that will increase the tax collections,” he said.
“The problem now is that many government schemes are not reaching the beneficiaries on the ground. It could be due to poor implementation by bureaucracy or lack of monitoring.”
A day after chief minister Vasundhara Raje held a meeting of a core group to discuss the by-elections rout, a meeting of ministers in-charge was called by the state BJP chief Ashok Parnami and organization secretary Chandrashekhar at the state party headquarters on Saturday.
Political analysts said the government is expected to go for course correction in the budget. Small traders and businessmen who have traditionally formed the core support base of the BJP, too may get some sops to ease pain caused to them, some of them said.