Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has named the newly announced universal health coverage scheme CM Chiranjeevi Yojna and said it will cover annual medical insurance of up to ₹5 lakh for every family in the state beginning May 1. He also proposed a reform to allow lateral entry of subject experts in government departments such as mines, health and education. The announcements came during the CM’s reply to the debate on state budget in Rajasthan assembly on Thursday.
Lateral entry in government parlance translates into direct and often temporary appointment to ad hoc positions, which are not filled through routine channels.
The CM said that registrations for the ₹3,500 crore universal health coverage scheme, first announced during the state budget in February this year, will begin from May 1. He also announced to increase the annual area development fund for MLAs from ₹2.25 crore to ₹5 crore. Replying on the debate on Finance Bill 2021 and Appropriation Bill-2021, Gehlot also expressed concern over the “reduction” in funds given to the state by the Centre.
He also urged the opposition to support the state government in taking up the issue of Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) and stalled railway route projects with the Centre. The ERCP proposes to provide drinking water to 13 districts of Rajasthan along with water for irrigation for 2.8 lakh hectares of land through 26 different large and medium projects. Gehlot has been demanding that the Centre grants its national project status in line with PM Narendra Modi’s “promises”.
“I am ready to fight for ERCP just like the refinery project in Barmer. We have given 25 MPs in the Parliament. We all should work together,” Gehlot said.
To opposition attacks over his government’s record on job creation, he claimed that the government provided more than 1.70 lakh new jobs during its two and a half years long tenure.
“We have given 97,000 jobs till now. Examination results have been released for recruitment to 17,000 jobs. Advertisements have been issued for recruiting another 37,000 employees while the process of issuing advertisements for 23,000 new recruits was underway. In this way, our government has provided more than 1.70 lakh jobs in the last 2.5 years,” Gehlot said.
The assembly passed the Appropriation Bill, 2021 and the Finance Bill, 2021 by a voice vote.