Rajasthan Budget: Gehlot Brings Back Old Pension Scheme for Govt Employees

The chief minister also announced the launch of the Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme with an aim to provide 100 days of employment in urban areas.

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New Delhi: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday presented the Budget for the year 2022-23 and announced to implement the old pension scheme from next year for all employees appointed on or after January 1, 2004.

“We all know that the employees associated with government services should feel secure about the future, only then they can make their invaluable contribution towards good governance during the service period. Therefore, for all the employees appointed on or after January 1, 2004, I propose to implement the old pension scheme,” he said.

On the old pension scheme, Gehlot appears to have taken a cue from Uttar Pradesh’s political campaign. Political discussions on the old pension scheme started after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav recently promised to implement it from state government funds if elected to power.

During the almost three-hour-long speech, the chief minister also announced the launch of the Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme with an aim to provide 100 days of employment in urban areas.

The Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme is in the lines of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), for which a Rs 800 crore budget has been proposed.

Gehlot also proposed to increase the health cover under the state government’s much ambitious Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per year per family. He also announced that IPD and OPD services will be free-of-cost in state-run hospitals.

For electricity consumers, 50 units free electricity for those using 100 units, Rs 3/per unit grant for all domestic consumers up to 150 units and Rs 2/unit grant for consumers of 150 to 300 units and above as per the slab. The state government will spend Rs 4,500 crore.

“Like always, we have taken care of every section of the society in the Budget. Management of the corona crisis in the state has been appreciated across the world.

“It is my privilege that I am presenting the first separate agriculture budget. It will set a new horizon in the agriculture sector in the state,” Gehlot said.

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In the first agriculture budget, Gehlot announced an allocation of Rs 5,000 crore for CM Krishak Saathi Yojna, which was Rs 2,000 crore in the last Budget.

The Budget for the year 2022-23, proposed Rs 2,700 crore for the Rajasthan Micro Irrigation Mission, under which 5 lakh farmers will be benefitted.

He also announced to make 125 days of employment in MGNREGA instead of 100 days. The state government will bear the expenditure of Rs 700 crore.

Gehlot also announced Rs 500 crore for SC-ST Development Fund and allocated Rs 100 crore for EWS families.

The chief minister also proposed to conduct the Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teachers (REET) exam in July, 2022. The state government had recently cancelled the examination due to controversies related to the paper leak case.

He said that an anti-cheating cell will be set up in the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Rajasthan police.

He said that no application fee will be charged from the old candidates for this examination to be held afresh and all the facilities given to the candidates at the time of REET examination will also be made available again.

Along with this, the number of posts in the upcoming REET examination has been increased from 32,000 to 62,000 to give more employment opportunities to the youth.

During the present government’s tenure so far, more than one lakh youth have been appointed and recruitment is under process for about 1.25 lakh posts. Gehlot said that “in the five years of the previous government, about two lakh recruitments were done, whereas we have reached this number in just three years”.

“Now I declare to recruit about one lakh additional posts in various departments in the coming year,” Gehlot announced.

To ensure the quality of education in the English medium, Gehlot announced the creation of a separate cadre of English medium teachers under all subjects. About 10,000 English medium teachers will be recruited in these schools in the first phase.

In view of the popularity of Mahatma Gandhi English Medium Schools and the demand of parents and students for admission in them, 1,000 more Mahatma Gandhi English Medium Schools will be started in urban and rural areas in the coming year.

Under the CM Digital Service Scheme announced by the chief minister, 1.33 crore women will get internet enabled smartphones for 3 years.

He announced to give industry status to tourism and hospitality, which were affected largely due to COVID-19 pandemic.

(With inputs from PTI)