Vasundhara Raje is the 13th Chief Minister of Rajasthan and the state’s first woman CM. She belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has served as Chief Minister of the state of Rajasthan since 2013, also serving a term as CM between 2003 and 2008. Raje’s government was largely responsible for bringing Rajasthan out of the ‘BIMARU‘ state category. Since being elected in 2005 and 2013 respectively, her government has worked to bring reforms into place, with the aim of turning Rajasthan into a developed state. Some of her achievements are as follows:
- 1. Resurgent Rajasthan & Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM)
- 2. Labour Reforms
- 3. Improvements in Irrigation
- 4. Focus on MSME’s
- 5. Financial Restructuring Package in the Power Sector
- 6. Bhamashah Yojana
- 7. Gramin Gaurav Path Yojana (GGP)
- 8. Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY)
- 9. Annapurna Rasoi
- 10. Annapurna Bhandar Yojana
- 11. Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan
- 12. E-Mitra
1. Resurgent Rajasthan & Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM)
Resurgent Rajasthan was a summit in 2015, held by the Rajasthan state government in a bid to attract investors in the core sectors of the state. In the summit, Raje stated that commitments for investments stood at 3.3 lakh crores. She further stated that this had the potential to generate 2.5 lakh jobs.
“The Rajasthan Model of Development rests on the triad of ‘Social Justice’, ‘Effective Governance’ and ‘Job Creation’.”, stated Raje.
The Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) is an annual international event, jointly organised by the government of Rajasthan and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
The objectives of GRAM are; focusing on earner empowerment, showcasing agricultural innovations, allowing marketing tie-ups, focusing on Joint Ventures, enabling technology transfers, facilitating international investments, providing business opportunities, encouraging agricultural based research, and creating a common platform for agricultural and allied investments.
2. Labour Reforms
The state government of Rajasthan brought about dramatic changes to the the Central Labour Laws, under the leadership of CM Vasundhara Raje. The Raje Cabinet cleared state level amendments to three Central government Labour legislations; the Industrial Disputes Act, Contract Labour Act and the Factories Act. This was done with the intention to liberate the corporate sector from the stringent requirements of the law.
Describing the move as creating a ‘habitat for job creation’, Raje stated, “I had promised 15 lakh jobs and this is one area that desperately needs to be opened up. I don’t have a choice.”
3. Improvements in Irrigation
CM Vasundhara Raje’s government in Rajasthan announced in 2016, that they would introduce a computerised water distribution system for farmers in the Indira Gandhi Canal project area. The aim of this project is to facilitate optimum utilisation of irrigation waters.
A pilot scheme for lift irrigation works was also to be launched at a cost of Rs. 60 crores to irrigate 30000 hectares of land by use of sprinklers and drip irrigation technology.
4. Focus on MSME’s
In February 2018, CM Vasundhara Raje proposed to reduce stamp duty for several transactions, full exemption of interest rates and penalty on unpaid stamp duty. She also proposed to get rid of stamp duty on loans for start ups and under the Mudra Scheme.
The loans for start ups and under the Mudra Scheme will not attract any stamp duty, according to Raje. The stamp duty exemption for loans and under the Mudra Scheme is up to ten lakhs rupees, which is a relief for budding entrepreneurs.
The budget also proposed to increase employment subsidy by Rs.5000 in various categories to encourage companies into hiring local youth.
5. Financial Restructuring Package in the Power Sector
The state government of Rajasthan, under Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje enacted the legislation for the financial restructuring of Power Companies, in a bill titled ‘The Rajasthan Electricity Distribution Management Responsibility Bill‘.
The bill is aimed at the financial restructuring of the companies and at bringing discipline, as well as financial independence, the Minister said. She further stated that MoUs between the state government and power companies would be signed under which targets for bringing down transmission and distribution losses would be decided.
6. Bhamashah Yojana
The Bhamashah Yojana was launched by the state government of Rajasthan led by CM Vasundhara Raje in 2014.
This scheme was enacted with the intention of transferring financial and non-financial benefits of government schemes directly to women recipients in a transparent manner. The objectives of the scheme are the financial inclusion of women, thereby leading to women empowerment, and effective service delivery.
7. Gramin Gaurav Path Yojana (GGP)
The Gramin Gaurav Path Yojana is scheme introduced by the state government of Rajasthan under CM Vasundhara Raje, with the intention of constructing 2048 kilometres of roads across all 33 districts in Rajasthan.
The project is being developed by the Rajasthan Public Works Department.
The scheme’s features include; the connection of village roads to the main mega highways, roads being constructed using cement concrete materials by contractors qualifying the tenders for one year in total, and the construction of sewer systems beside village roads.
A total of 2105 out of 9900 villages in 33 districts have been included in this scheme.
8. Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY)
The Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana is health scheme introduced by CM Vasundhara Raje’s government in Rajasthan, with the aim of offering IPD patients with access to cashless facilities. The scheme was a budget declaration for the financial year 2014-15 and is only available to the people of Rajasthan.
Families under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the National Food Security Act (NFSA) can avail this scheme. The New India Assurance Company was chosen as the insurer of this scheme, on the basis of being an open competitive public sector company, in a two stage bidding process.
The main objective of this scheme is to improve health indicators. The financial cover is offered to customers against illnesses by reduction of additional expenses. BSBY aims at reducing the financial risk of surplus expenditure on healthcare by making use of insurance as a solution.
9. Annapurna Rasoi
The Rajasthan state government launched the Annapura Rasoi programme in 2016, under the leadership of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, to provide quality meals at cheap prices to the poor and needy. This programme is similar to Tamil Nadu’s Amma Canteen and Karnataka’s Indira Canteen.
Food is served at subsidized rates, with breakfast being served at Rs.5 per plate and lunch/dinner being served ta Rs.8 per plate. The food is prepared by staff trained in hospitality, with the Local Self Government Department of Rajasthan being the nodal agency for the scheme. Eighty mobile vans will help distribute the food through various self-help agencies across the districts.
10. Annapurna Bhandar Yojana
The Annapurna Bhandar Yojana is a public-private partnership initiative between the government of Rajasthan and Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd, a Future Group Company. The aim is to provide multi-brand consumer products at Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the state. The Public Distribution System (PDS), under the Public Private Partnership scheme (PPP), would be modernized by providing better quality multi-brand consumer goods at competitive prices.
Food items like edible oil, ghee, pulses, jaggery, spices, flour and pickle along with Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) related to personal care, would be made available at fair price shops. A total of 145 branded items would be available at these shops as well.
The Fair Price Shops are being referred to as ‘Annapurna Bhandar’.
11. Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan
The Mukhyamantry Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan (MJSA) is an initiative by the Rajasthan state government to conserve and harvest rainwater and make villages self-sustainable in periods of drought. The scheme was created with the idea of natural resource management with the use of a hydrological unit as a base to develop water, forest and land.
The programme focuses on the participation of village locals, NGO, a non-resident villager, and corporate houses through their CSR initiatives in cash, kind and labor; for the purposes of water harvesting in Rajasthan’s rural villages.
With 3000 villages benefitting from this scheme in 2016 alone, 21000 villages in total are expected to benefit from this scheme by 2020.
The initiative is being implemented in all 33 districts of the state of Rajasthan, with the aim of providing convenience and transparency to citizens in availing various services of the government and Private Sectors, all under one roof with the help of an e-platform.
Common Service Centres or CSC kiosks act as counters that deliver services in rural areas, whereas E-Mitra kiosks offer the services in urban areas.