Jaipur: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has demanded that the Centre declare Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) a national project and increase financial assistance for various centrally sponsored schemes.
He was speaking at the seventh meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday.
Gehlot has been indirectly attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “forgetting” the promises made to the state leading to verbal duals with Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on several occasions. This time, he pitched for his demand right in front of Modi.
In the meeting chaired by Modi, Gehlot strongly presented the issues related to his state and said that ERCP is an ambitious project of Rs 37,000 crore which will help augment irrigation facilities in an area of around 2 lakh hectares in 13 districts of Rajasthan.
He said that eastern Rajasthan is a leading area in the production of oilseeds. Besides, declaring it a national project will also solve the potable water problems in these districts.
Reminding the Prime Minister of his earlier promises of adopting a positive stance with regard to this project, the chief minister said that it will also help in successful implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.
There is an additional financial burden on the states due to the changes made in financial participation pattern in various centrally sponsored schemes, he said. He demanded that the Centre extend the period of GST compensation by five years to June 2027 and release the GST compensation of approximately Rs 3,780 crore in a lump sum outstanding from 2017-18.
Gehlot said that Rajasthan has emgered as a model state in the field of providing free medical facilities to the general public. The entire treatment is being provided free of cost and all the tests are also being conducted free of cost in all the government hospitals under ‘Nirogi Rajasthan Yojana’.
‘Mukhyamantri Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana’ is the next step in this direction, in which 88 per cent of families in the state have been provided with insurance cover. Rajasthan tops the list in this sector in the entire country. Under the scheme, 1.34 crore families are getting free treatment in government and private hospitals.
Till now, more than Rs 2,202 crore has been spent on treating 18 lakh patients. The facility for liver, heart and kidney transplants is being provided under this scheme. He demanded that the Centre increase the ambit of ‘Ayushman Bharat Swasthya Bima Yojana’ on the lines of this scheme.
Gehlot also urged increase in assistance to farmers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana
He said that the Rajasthan government is giving a benefit of Rs 1,000 per month as electricity subsidy to each farmer’s family and has implemented a separate agriculture budget. He said that the central government should increase its share to 75 percent on all the schemes related to agriculture.
The Chief Minister demanded a special grant for the colleges that have been opened in scheduled areas in the state like those given in North Eastern states and to open a Global University in Rajasthan. The Chief Minister in the meeting demanded to implement the recommendation of giving central assistance of Rs 400 crore to Digital University in Rajasthan by the 15th Finance Commission. He said that the State Government is ready to spend Rs 200 crore to build this Digital Fintech University in Jodhpur.