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###Will Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Fulfill the Aspirations of Rajasthan's People in the Upcoming Full Budget?

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23 Jun 24
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###Will Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Fulfill the Aspirations of Rajasthan's People in the Upcoming Full Budget?

Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Diya Kumari, along with Additional Chief Secretary Finance Akhil Arora and Finance Secretary Devashish Pushti, came to New Delhi to represent Rajasthan in the budget pre-discussion meeting held under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. They forcefully put forth several important issues related to Rajasthan’s development, including the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP), three rail projects, and demands related to road and energy sectors before the Union Finance Minister.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had invited finance ministers and senior officials from all states to the national capital before presenting the full budget of the central government in the 18th Lok Sabha's new session. Previously, only an interim budget was presented by the Union Finance Minister to manage government expenditures before the formation of the 18th Lok Sabha. Similarly, states also ensured their expenditure arrangements for the upcoming months by passing vote-on-account in their assemblies. Now, the full budget will be passed in Parliament. After receiving the funds and contributions from the central government, the states will also pass their full budgets.

After this crucial meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Diya Kumari shared information about the suggestions put forth by Rajasthan. She expressed confidence that this time Rajasthan would fully benefit from the double-engine government of the BJP at both the center and the state. To realize the vision of Modi 3.0 government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Diya Kumari effectively presented issues and suggestions related to Rajasthan to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the upcoming Union Revised Budget 2024-25 to achieve the concept of "Developed India - Developed Rajasthan."

During the meeting, Diya Kumari especially raised the issue of the 'Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project' (ERCP), which is expected to prove to be a lifeline for 21 districts of eastern Rajasthan, and appealed for maximum central assistance to quickly materialize this ambitious project. She detailed all aspects related to this project before the Union Finance Minister. Diya Kumari also informed about the progress of the 'Jal Jeevan Mission' being implemented in Rajasthan to achieve the goals of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious scheme 'Har Ghar Nal Se Jal,' and requested further cooperation from the central government.

In this significant pre-budget meeting, Diya Kumari also demanded the prompt realization of three major pending rail projects in Rajasthan to connect the remote areas of the state to the mainstream of development. Although the official statement did not disclose these rail projects, it is a fact that even after 75 years of independence, no rail line passes through any part of the tribal-dominated district of Banswara in southern Rajasthan, adjacent to Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. As a result, the residents are forced to travel to Ratlam, Neemuch, Vadodara, Udaipur, and Dungarpur to avail railway facilities, causing significant difficulties for laborers traveling for employment and business-related individuals.

Along with rail, Diya Kumari also raised the issue of the construction and strengthening of new national highways in the state. She urged the central minister to ensure a robust network of roads in Rajasthan, the largest state in India in terms of area, to connect large cities with remote villages and hamlets, thereby linking all parts of the state to the mainstream of development.

Diya Kumari emphasized that the availability of adequate energy is crucial for the development of agriculture, industry, and infrastructure in Rajasthan. Therefore, central support is essential to make Rajasthan self-reliant in the energy sector. She strongly demanded special assistance for the energy companies operating in Rajasthan to better exploit all potential opportunities in the energy sector, thereby advancing the state's development. Recently, the Chief Minister of the state, Bhajan Lal Sharma, met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Sitharaman, and other central ministers to discuss these issues. Their efforts have paved the way for the state to receive lakhs of tons of coal stuck in Chhattisgarh for its coal-based power plants.

During this important meeting held before presenting the full budget in Parliament, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took all the issues and suggestions presented by Rajasthan's Deputy Chief Minister Diya Kumari seriously. She assured that the central government would take positive steps regarding all of Rajasthan's demands. However, Rajasthan is still awaiting special state status similar to hilly and border states, 100% central assistance for the water-scarce state, and special central support to promote heritage tourism.

It will be interesting to see if Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman fulfills the aspirations of Rajasthan's people in the upcoming full budget to be presented in Parliament and how effectively the double-engine government of the BJP at both the center and the state can achieve its goals.


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