Rajasthan: Gehlot taunts BJP govt for failure to meet targets

The government appears more keen to find faults with the previous Congress regime than to meet even revised targets, mocks former CM

(photo: @BhajanlalBjp/X)
(photo: @BhajanlalBjp/X)

Prakash Bhandari

“The BJP government in Rajasthan has spent more time pointing out defects in the various welfare schemes of the Congress government, changing their names — such as the rechristened Chiranjeevi scheme merged with Ayushman — and withdrawing the stipend disbursed under the Rajiv Yuva Rozgar Yojana has caused hardship to the youth,” says former chief minister Ashok Gehlot.

Leader of the Opposition Tika Ram Jully also targeted the state government for its poor administration and said, "This is an inexperienced government with even the chief minister, who is a first time MLA as are a majority of his ministers, clueless about administration. They took too much time to allot portfolios and then they took 50 days to reshuffle the bureaucracy. The state secretariat was hardly functional, which hampered day-to-day work."

The criticism is validated by the admission of the state government that it has failed to meet the revenue collection target for the fiscal year 2023-24. The state’s chief secretary Sudhansh Pant informed officials at a review meeting this week that the total revenue had fallen short of the target at the end of March. The collection totalled Rs 1,04,423.86 crore against the target of Rs 1,22,103.50 crore, a shortfall of Rs 17,680 crore, he said.

The revenue collection fell short despite the BJP government reducing the target significantly from last year’s budget estimates, which too could not be met. Alarmed at the shortfall, the chief secretary has now ordered a fortnightly review of revenue collection.

The shortfall has come in the wake of new chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma boasting of having streamlined the functioning of all departments within his first 100 days in office. Incidentally, the CM had retained Akhil Arora, also the finance secretary in the Gehlot government, as finance secretary.

Commercial taxes, excise, registration and stamps, mines, petroleum and transport are the key revenue-earning departments for the state, and all of them reportedly fell short of the target, officials admitted.

Sharma had announced 730 action points for the first 100-days in office but less than half of them have been addressed so far, officials conceded.

The new BJP government went on a name-changing spree to rename various welfare schemes of the Congress government and altering them, Jully pointed out, before the model code of conduct kicked in ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, giving the government the alibi to put on hold various schemes, he claimed. “This is an inefficient government, and people will soon realise they made a mistake by voting the BJP to power.” Jully said.

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