Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday allocated Rs 8,000 crore for crop loan waivers for farmers. Farmers will get the waivers on loans up to Rs 50,000 taken before September 30, 2017, she said.
Raje, who holds the state’s finance portfolio, was announcing the state’s Budget in the Rajasthan Assembly on Monday. The state will have Assembly elections later this year.
Among other announcements Raje made were the opening of 28 primary health centres in the state, free travel for people more than 80 years old in buses, new government colleges and the formation of a state commission for agricultural loans. Free sanitary pads will be distributed to girls in government schools, Raje said in her Budget speech.
Raje said 40 electric buses would ply in Jaipur as part of the local bus transport corporation fleet. Kamlesh Nagakoti, a member in India’s World Cup-winning Under-19 cricket team, will get a Rs 25 lakh award from the government, she said.
Before Raje began her speech, the Opposition tried to protest in the Assembly, asking the government to withdraw a law it had passed in October 2017, barring courts from taking up cases against public servants without its sanction. The ordinance had also banned the media from naming the public servant till the case is investigated.
In 2017, states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab had announced loan waivers for farmers. The Reserve Bank of India had shown concern over the trend, and had said such schemes posed a “major fiscal risk over the medium term”.