Rajasthan is a revenue surplus state: Gehlot



Jaipur: The revenue deficit of Rajasthan, which was Rs 4,747 crore four years ago, has turned into surplus now, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Wednesday.

"The current revenue deficit is Rs 3,357 crore in surplus," Gehlot said after the Assembly passed motion of thanks on the Governor's speech.

The average growth rate from 2005 to 2009 in the state was 8.15 per cent and at present, it was 9.36 per cent, he said.

Earlier in the day, during Question Hour, the opposition tried to corner the government over the reply of two ministers and said ministers were not prepared for the answers.

The House was adjourned for half an hour when the opposition created uproar over alleged difference in answer of the same question given by excise minister Rajendra Pareek.

Highlighting the achievements and flagship programmes of his government, Gehlot said the Reserve Bank of India and Prime Minister have appreciated the financial management of the state on various occasions.

He said the growth and development in the state was high as compared to the previous BJP government.

The chief minister claimed that infant mortality rate and mother mortality rate decreased in the state and significant growth was registered in infrastructure development.

Gehlot said the government planned to bring an oil refinery in Barmer and for this several efforts have been made which would soon yield positive results.

The chief minister compared Congress's rule in the state with that of BJP and also commented on alleged corruption by the previous BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje.

He, without naming Raje, targeted the BJP leader asking whether an elected public representative should have contact with "an absconder" like Lalit Modi.

BJP whip Rajendra Rathore objected to the comments of the chief minister and alleged that his government was corrupt.

However, Gehlot rejected the allegation and said Rathore had alleged he was being implicated falsely at the behest of him (Gehlot), in an apparent reference to the case of Dara Singh fake encounter case in which Rathore was an accused.

Gehlot said he would quit the post if anyone proved the baseless allegation of Rathore.

He said he was ready to release a white paper, as sought by Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria, on Jalmahal lease issue to determine who was responsible for wrongfully leasing out Jalmahal to a private company in Jaipur.

Before the Chief Minister's reply, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria speaking in the debate over the motion said development in the state had stalled in Congress rule.

42 members of both the ruling party and the opposition took part in the debate since February 21.

Uproarious scenes were witnessed in the Assembly when Opposition BJP accused Pareek of misleading the House and demanded clarification on his reply.

Pareek informed the House that Rs 458 crore in revenue was due on liquor contractors for the period 2008-2011, in reply to a question from BJP MLA Jaswant Yadav.

Yadav alleged that the minister has misled the House by giving a different figure for the same question asked during the previous Budget session and demanded a clarification.

The minister, however, ignored this point and accused the BJP of creating unnecessary confusion. This irked the Opposition members, who led by their leader Gulab Chand Kataria, remained adamant on the issue of clarification.

The stand-off between the Treasury and the Opposition benches continued for a while following which the Speaker adjourned the House for half-an-hour.

When the House reassembled, the Speaker decided to conduct a debtate on March 7 for half an hour to determine whether the answers by the minister were different and wrong.

During Zero Hour, BJP whip Rajendra Rathore raised the issue of cow slaughtering and demanded from the government to take effective measures to ensure that cows are not illegally transported and sent for slaughtering.

After the passage of motion of thanks on Governor's speech, the Speaker adjourned the House.

Next sitting of the House is on March 6 when the Chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of finance minister, is scheduled to present the state budget 2013-14.

PTI