Gehlot presents please-all populist budget in Rajasthan

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2013 12:49 hrs
Gehlot stresses on livestock breeding

Jaipur: With an eye to the assembly elections due later this year, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Wednesday presented a populist budget in the assembly here for the financial year 2013-14.

In the fifth and the last budget of the present government, Gehlot announced that all the medical tests would be provided free of cost at government hospitals from April.

Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients suffering from heart and kidney-related diseases and cancer would get Rs.1 lakh assistance from the state government.

While presenting the Rs.336.52 crore surplus budget, Gehlot - who also holds the finance portfolio - said the number of generic medicines provided free to patients would be increased to 600 types from the present 400.

The chief minister also announced a new medical college in Jaipur and 15 others at various district headquarters.

"BPL families will get wheat at the subsidised rate of Rs.1 per kg. They will also get sugar at the subsidised rate of Rs.10 per kg," said the chief minister.

The government has promised no hike in electricity bills for farmers and BPL families. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) will be provided to 50,000 BPL families for free.

The chief minister said all villages with a population of over 250 would be connected by roads.

The state government will spend Rs.650 crore on 6,000 km of roads in rural areas.

Taxes on tobacco products would be hiked to 65 percent from the current 50 percent, while spices are set to become cheaper as the government proposed to make them tax-free.

"We are also launching a scheme to send senior citizens on pilgrimages for which the state government would bear all expenses," Gehlot said.

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