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Rajasthan CM meets Finance Minister, seeks timely release of funds

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here on Saturday to discuss various financial issues related to the state.

He requested the centre to give approval to the pending proposals of drinking water projects and ensure timely release of funds of the centrally-sponsored schemes, an official statement said.

"As per the past practice the state's share in the central taxes should be released to the respective states on the first date of the month. As this practice had been changed since past few years, the states were facing financial issues. The states have to make payments towards salaries and pension on the first date, which becomes very difficult," the Rajasthan Chief Minister was quoted as saying.

The Chief Minister also requested the Finance Minister to approve the financial proposals of seven drinking water projects costing Rs 5473 crore at the earliest.

According to the official statement, Gehlot asked for approval for the proposal for external financial aid for the Phase 3 of Rajiv Gandhi Lift Canal Project costing Rs. 1,450 crore.

He a;sp sought swift approval of several drinking water projects pending with Union Ministries of Drinking Water & Sanitation and Urban Development.

"The Chief Minister asked the Union Minister to support the state's loan waiver scheme to help farmers of Rajasthan recover from the indebtedness. He informed that 24 lakh farmers affiliated to cooperative banks had been given the benefit of loan waiver in Rajasthan and the state had to bear a burden of Rs 15,679 crore," the official statement said.

Gehlot suggested that to ensure no dearth of funds for various development projects, the states should be allowed to take loans upto 4% instead of 3% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). He said that the Centre should make the procedure for the states to take loans from the open markets a stable one.

The delay on part of the Centre to give approval for taking loans was hampering the ongoing development projects, the Chief Minister said.