Jaipur, Feb 19: The Rajasthan government will amend Indian Penal Code (IPC) for stricter punishment for offenders in cases related to crime against women, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said today. Replying to a debate on the state budget 2018-19 presented by her in the Legislative Assembly, she expressed concern over crime against women and said the government had decided to amend IPC for making provisions for stricter punishment, even up to death penalty for the guilty in heinous cases like rape with minors.
Raje also announced Rs 1,500 monthly pension to leprosy patients, increase in the honorarium of home guards, new recruitment of 2,500 home guards, creation of 6,000 posts of police head constables to enhance chances of promotion of constables having minimum 18 years service. She also announced 'Bhamashah techno hub' and 'Bhamashah fund' to push start-ups and new policy for gravel mining.
Raje said the important announcement in the budget was of the loan waiver of up to Rs. 50,000 to small and marginal farmers which sent "shock waves to opposition Congress". She alleged that the Congress was "responsible" for the present condition of farmers. "The party ruled for 50 years but did not take care of the farmers", she alleged. Raje said the farmers debt-relief commission for settlement of crop loan was, announced in the budget, will be given statutory status and a bill will be introduced in the House in this regard. The setting up of the commission will be a historic move, the chief minister said. She said the government's borrowings were for assets creation and for execution of public welfare schemes, and structural changes in budget has benefitted the state.
Raje said the government presented budget one month ahead of the schedule so that the various schemes announced could be allocated to departments on time. She held responsible the Congress for present gravel crisis and said it was a "wrong policy" pursued by the former Congress government by issuing an Letter of Intent (LoI) in November 2013, just five days before code of conduct came into force for Assembly elections "which raises doubt on its intention". Raje said the government has now decided to "decentralise the gravel mining". On reports in a section of media that she had said there was "no guarantee to fulfill the budget announcements at a press conference after the budget presentation on February 12", Raje said her comments were "misreported". "What I had said was that there is no guarantee except our normal conduct.
Do not compare us with the Congress as we do what we say," she told the House. Raje claimed that the 90 per cent of the budget announcements of the previous years have been realised and 85 per cent of election promises fulfilled by the government. Prior to the chief minister, Speaker Kailash Meghwal had asked the leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi to speak in the debate on the budget but the opposition created ruckus over levelling of allegations against Dudi by the Parliamentary Affairs minister Rajendra Rathore and others of being "involved in betting". Dudi wanted to speak on the allegations but when the ruling party legislators did not allow him, the Congress members stormed to the well of the House. Later, the speaker asked the chief minister to give her reply on the budget.