Yogi's maiden budget

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Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government on Tuesday presented Uttar Pradesh’s biggest-ever annual tax-free budget for Rs 3.84 lakh crore for 2017-18, accommodating Rs 36,000 crores for its much-touted election promise of waiving off 86 lakh farmers loans. It was 11 per cent more than the last budget of Akhilesh Yadav for Rs 3.47 lakh crore.

Sharad Gupta

Sharad Gupta

Sharad Gupta is a political commentator with over 30 years experience of working with publications like The Times of India, The Indian Express, India Today, Hindustan and Dainik Bhaskar. He is presently Senior Editor with Parliamentarian

Presenting Yogi government’s maiden budget, the State Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal focused on the poor, unemployed youth and farmers. The budget has earmarked Rs 55,781 crores for the new schemes. The Yogi government has set a target of achieveing 10 per cent growth rate in next five years.

The Yogi government estimates to mop up 3.77 lakh crore through revenue, mainly now from GST and excise. It has also aimed at saving over 12,000 by austerity means and raise additional funds through loans.

Though a balance has sought to be made in allocation of budget between rural and urban areas of the state but the maiden budget has not paid much attention on any concrete plan to speed up infrastructural activities and industrial development of the state to achieve an integrated growth.

Taking a cue from its ‘Sabka saath Sabka vikaas’ policy, yogi’s budget did not curtail any budgetary allocation on minority and their welfare schemes. It has alloacted Rs 792 crores for scholarships to minority students and Rs 394 for development of madarsas.

The budget session began on a stormy note with Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress forcing several adjournments on deteriorating law and order situation in the state and farmers’ issues. Tired Finance minister’s budget speech was later read by Parliamentary Affairs minister Suresh Khanna.

Special focus was laid on state’s backward and underdeveloped Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal part. Rs 300 crore for special schemes in Poorvanchal and Rs 200 was sanctioned for Bundelkhand. Unlike previous regimes, the Yogi government also allocated Rs 2800 for making available safe drinking in the two regions.

Education department bagged the biggest pie of Rs 66599 crore followed by Rs 15760 crores for construction of roads and Rs 6123 crore for irrigation. Much focus was laid on allocating funds for Central schemes launched by PM Modi. Rs 3,000 were allocated to consyruct about 2 lakh homes for the poor under Prime Minister Awas Scheme.

The Yogi government set aside Rs 3255 crore for construction of toilets and Rs 1000 crore PM’s pet Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan.

To control crime, the Yogi government announced to recruit 33,200 police personnel and set up 75 special police posts in every district for checking power theft. Budgetary provisions were made to launch metro in Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur.

The government also announced to set-up two new sugar mills and allocated Rs 273 for opening closed sugar mills. Budgetary provisions were made for its already announced schemes of proving free school bags, text books, dresses and shoes to primary school students.

Wif-Fi would be provided in all government Colleges and universities with Rs 50 crore. Schools and hospitals would be named after martyrs and poor girl students would be provided free education up to graduation level under Ahiliyabai Free Education Scheme.

The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed that his governmet budget aims at achieving 10 per cent growth rate by laying emphasis on infrastructure and industrial development by wooing investments for an overall growth of the state during the next few years.

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