Rajasthan is going through a complicated financial situation due to the adverse circumstances of COVID-19 and a decline in revenue earnings, along with the increasing state share in centrally-sponsored schemes, non-payment of GST compensation by the Centre and the transfer of an amount that is less than what is estimated under the 15th Finance Commission, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Thursday.
However, despite the challenging situation, the state government is accelerating projects in the education, health, infrastructure, electricity and other sectors with economic reforms and efficient management of resources, he added.
Chairing the second meeting of the Chief Minister's Economic Reform Council through a video-conference here, Mr Gehlot said Rajasthan is one of the few states in the country that has increased its expenditure to give a boost to the economy, despite a huge fall in revenue.
Along with this, he said, efforts have been made to execute the announcements made in the state budget and the medical infrastructure of the state has been strengthened.
Mr Gehlot said the next state budget will be dedicated to the agriculture sector.
He said the 15th Finance Commission, in its interim report, had estimated Rs 50,000 crore to be given to Rajasthan from the divisible pool for the 2020-21 financial year, but the actual transfer was around Rs 32,000 crore.
Similarly, the Centre is not giving the full payment of GST compensation, according to a release issued by the state government.
"In various projects including water, the ratio of the Centre and the state was 90:10 earlier, which has now come down to 50:50. The share of the states out of the divisible pool of taxes on petrol and diesel is also being reduced continuously," the release quoted the chief minister as saying.
He said an immediate resolution of these issues is necessary as otherwise, there will be a negative impact on the development of states.
The veteran Congress leader said the geographical conditions of Rajasthan are quite complex and in such a situation, the cost of service delivery is much higher as compared to other states.
"In view of this, Rajasthan should get the special status but the Centre has not taken any positive step in this direction yet," he added.
Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra, Energy Minister BD Kalla, Chief Secretary Niranjan Arya and members of the council attended the meeting.
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