Uttar Pradesh Budget 2018: Focus on infrastructure, agriculture and jobs

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year, the budget for the state of Uttar Pradesh was announced in the Assembly. As expected, the budget focuses, especially on infrastructure, welfare and job creation schemes. The budget for last year was Rs 3,84 lakh crore. However, this time, it was of 4.28 lakh crore which is the largest by any state government thus far.

Rs. 250 crore has been allotted to the Chief Minister’s One District One Product scheme. Another 100 crores have been allotted for CM Youth self-employment scheme. Such measures are expected to create much-needed jobs for the youth. Also, 150 crores have been set aside to provide power loom weavers electricity at concessional rates. In a first, 250 crores have been set aside to boost start-ups in the state.

Rs. 1000 crore has been allotted for the construction of the Poorvanchal expressway and another 500 crores have been allotted to the Lucknow-Agra expressway. Rs. 2873 crore has been earmarked for the PM Gram Sadak Yojana. Another 250 crores have been set aside for regional rapid transport. Rs. 1650 crore has been allotted for smart cities. Rs. 11000 crores have been earmarked for roads and 650 crores will be spent on state highways.

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Rs. 2757 crore has been given for minority welfare and Rs. 404 crore will be spent on the modernization of Madrasas. Rs. 3780 crore has been allotted for the welfare and development of women and children. Rs. 7658 crore has been allotted to social welfare schemes and Rs. 1705 crore for the welfare of backward communities. Ahilyabaoi free education scheme to get 21 crore rupees and 18,167 crores will be spent on Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana has received 200 crores. Consistent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, the budget will look to provide 1.5 crore new electricity connections. The budget has also allocated 11,500 crores to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural) and 1040 crores have been allotted to National Rural Livelihood Mission.

Additionally, 1500 crores have been awarded to Kumbh Mela. 70 crores will be spent on the development of the Ramayan, Bodh and Sufi circuits. Over 7000 crores have been sought from the central government for the river Ganga.

Agricultural reforms have also gotten priority in this budget and special provision have been made for the dairy industry. Allocations have also been made to provide farmers with fertilizers for their land. The CM fruit horticulture scheme has been launched and around 5500 centres are expected to be opened where farmers can sell their wheat in addition to 20 new agricultural centres.

Along with expected lines, Samajwadi Party expressed disappointment with the budget. Party spokesperson, Rajendra Chowdhary, said, “The Budget is incomplete and once again there is nothing much for the farmers. The Yogi government has not done anything concrete to generate employment opportunities for the youth. The government is just playing with the figures.”

MLA of the Congress party, Ajay Singh Lallu, stated, “The public was hoping that some new schemes will be launched to benefit the youth and farmers but there’s nothing in it for them. Also, potato and sugarcane farmers have been ignored in this Budget and no special package was announced. The promise of generating 14 lakh jobs every year also does not look to be fulfilled by this Budget.”

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