With the Assembly elections less than a year away, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh on Monday presented a Rs 5.50 lakh crore Budget for 2021-22 financial year, saying the provisions were aimed at making the state atmanirbhar or “self-reliant”.
This year’s Budget, which is 7.3 per cent bigger than the last one, has allocated Rs 27,598 crore for new schemes – up from Rs 10,967 crore in 2020 – with infrastructure development bagging the lion’s share. After the first “paperless” Budget was presented by Finance Minister Suresh Khanna in the Assembly, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the Budget in the pandemic year represented “atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Uttar Pradesh”.
“Atmanirbhar Uttar Pradesh ki bhavna ke anurup yeh Budget hai (This Budget is as per the sentiment of self-reliant Uttar Pradesh),” the Chief Minister told mediapersons. Admitting that there were difficulties in achieving revenue targets due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chief Minister said that despite it, the government was able to maintain “fiscal discipline” by keeping FRPM below 4.17 per cent.
The fiscal deficit estimated in the current Budget stands at Rs 90,729 crore, which is 4.17 per cent of the estimated Gross State Domestic Product as compared to estimated fiscal deficit of Rs. 53,195.46 crore in 2020-21 Budget, which was 2.97 per cent of the estimated Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
Meanwhile, the state’s debt liability has been estimated to be 28.1 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product, according to the Budget document. Reading out the budget speech from a laptop, Finance Minister Khanna said the target was to ensure “all-round development” of the state with thrust on infrastructure, tourism and welfare of farmers and youths.
The Budget makes a provision of Rs 101 crore for the under-construction airport in Ayodhya, which will be named ‘Maryada Purushottam Sriram Airport’, besides earmarking Rs 2,000 crore for increasing the number of airstrips at the Jewar Airport in Noida to six from two.
Amid the ongoing farmers protest against the Centre’s new agricultural laws, the government said that their focus is on doubling farm income. The Budget has made a provision of Rs 400 crore to provide crop loan to farmers at concessional rates, besides Rs 700 crore for free water facility to farmers.
An outlay of Rs 100 crore has been proposed for “Atma Nirbhar Krishak Samanvit Vikas Yojna” for doubling farmers’ income and Rs 600 crore for expansion of Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana (insurance scheme) to earning members of the farmers’ family.
With the government facing criticism from the Opposition parties over law and order and crimes against women, the Budget has made provisions for women welfare that includes Rs 100 crore for the new scheme — Mukhyamantri Saksham Suraksha Yojna — aiming at “solving the malnutrition problem among women and children”, Rs 200 crore for another the new scheme — Mahila Samarthya Yojana – aimed at women empowerment as well as Rs 32 crore for establishing Mahila Shakti Kendras.
The government has also made a provision to develop selected cities, including Gautam Buddh Nagar, Gorakhpur, Agra, etc as “Safe Cities” for women. Besides, the Budget proposes Rs 1,200 crore for the implementation of Mukhymatri Kanya Sumangla Yojana.
Provisions of Rs 4,094 crore for the nutritional programme and Rs 415 crore for the National Nutritional Campaign are also provided in the Budget. For youth development, the budget makes a provision for the distribution of tablets to eligible students under the government’s ambitious Mukhyamantri Abhyudaya Yojana, for free coaching for competitive exams and for setting up model career centres in 12 other districts.
The Budget provides Rs 100 crore for providing employment and self-employment to migrant workers under the Mukhyamantri Pravasi Shramik Udyamita Vikas Yojna.
The government has also proposed setting up one “Sainik School” in every division of the state and provide residential facilities to students of Sanskrit education in the state. Many provisions in the Budget have also been effected from the government’s experiences during the pandemic, like the proposal to develop the Institute of Virology and Infectious Disease in Lucknow on the lines of the National Institute of Virology in Pune for which Rs 23 crore has been allocated.
Also, Rs 1,073 crore has been allocated to equip primary health units with diagnosis facilities. A provision of Rs 5,395 crore has been earmarked for Rashtriya Gramin Swasthya Mission and Rs 1,300 crore for Ayushman Bharat.
The Budget has also allocated Rs 50 crore for Covid vaccination. With a view to developing medical infrastructure, Rs 1,950 has been earmarked for the construction of new medical colleges in 13 districts and Rs 960 crores for medical colleges under construction in eight districts.
Provision of Rs 15,000 crore has been marked for Jal Jeevan Mission (rural) scheme and with stress on infrastructural development, it proposes Rs 1,107 crore for Purvanchal expressway, Rs 1,492 crore for Bundelkhand expressway and Rs 860 crore for Gorakhpur link expressway and Rs 7,200 crore for land acquisition for Ganga Expressway and Rs 489 crore for construction works.
Under the special area programme, the budget provides for Rs 300 crore for special schemes for Purvanchal and Rs 210 crore for Bundelkhand.
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