Akhilesh Yadav presents poll-driven budget, Opposition says ‘disappointing’

A sum of Rs 13,842 crore has been earmarked for new schemes, with focus on agriculture, health and education.

By: PTI | Lucknow | Updated: February 13, 2016 5:37 am
budget, uttar pradesh budget, uttar pradesh budget 2016, uttar pradesh, akhilesh yadav, akhilesh yadav's budget A sum of Rs 13,842 crore has been earmarked for new schemes, with focus on agriculture, health and education. (Express file photo)

SEEKING TO retain power when Uttar Pradesh goes to polls next year, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Friday presented a Rs 3,46,935-crore budget for 2016-17, with focus on a string of populist measures and new welfare schemes.

The budget, Akhilesh’s fifth and last in his current tenure, shows an increase of 14.6 per cent over the last year’s allocation and has Rs 13,842 crore earmarked for new schemes. Describing the budget as “inclusive, balanced and development oriented”, Akhilesh said 2016-17 has been declared as year of farmers and youths and the government will work for the welfare of these two segments. He also said that while infrastructure has improved, the challenge is to provide relief to farmers and employment to the youth.

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“I will present the sixth budget (in the next government) also,” Akhilesh said even as Opposition termed the budget as “disappointing, anti-farmer and anti-people”.

The budget estimates total expenditure at Rs 3,46,934.8 crore and receipts at Rs 3,40,120.6 crore, including 2,81,555.44 crore in revenue receipts and Rs 58,565.17 crore in capital receipts.

The fiscal deficit has been estimated at Rs 49,960.9 crore, 4.04 per cent of the state’s GDP. This includes bonds of Rs 13,303 crore issued under the financial reorganisation scheme ‘UDAY’ for power companies.

If it is excluded, the fiscal deficit will be Rs 36,657.9 crore, or 2.97 per cent of the state GDP.

Akhilesh announced several new schemes worth Rs 13,842 crore targeting various segments, including farmers who account for a significant chunk of the electorate.

Significant among them are ‘Samajwadi Kisan Evam Sarvhit Bima Yojana’ for which Rs 897 crore has been provided, Samajwadi Yuva Self Employment Scheme (Rs 40 crore), Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Panchayat Empowerment Scheme (Rs 6.61 crore) and Rs 72 crore for hostels in co-educational ‘Samajwadi Abhinav Vidyalayas’ in 18 divisions. Another Rs 300 crore has been given for I-Sparsh Smart Village scheme. “Those who promised Smart Cities were smart. We are making villages smart,” Akhilesh said in an apparent dig at the Narendra Modi government.

For roads and bridges, Akhilesh has made a provision of Rs 14,721 crore, while Rs 541 crore has been earmarked for state highways, Rs 3,205 crore for repair of roads, Rs 1180 crore for bridges over rivers, Rs 635 crore for Railway Over Bridges, Rs 1,923 crore for connecting villages, Rs 1,111 crore for four-laning of main roads, Rs 310 crore for core road network, Rs 75 crore for roads connecting to tourist places, Rs 470 crore for roads in Nepal bordering districts, and Rs 900 crore under Rapid Development Work scheme.

For rural development, Rs 630 crore has been earmarked for connecting rural road and small bridges, Rs 1,413 crore for link roads, and Rs 2,300 crore for rural drinking water projects.

For electrification of about 1,73,000 villages Akhilesh has earmarked Rs 11,900 crore. The power sector has received another Rs 7,000 crore for feeder separation scheme, and Rs 39,909 crore financial assistance to distribution companies under UDAY scheme.
In urban development, Rs 600 crore has been earmarked for Swachh Bharat Mission, Rs 600 crore for Smart City Mission, Rs 700 crore for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Rs 250 crore for elevated approach road in Sangam area and Rs 300 crore for Agra’s drinking water facility, among others.

The budget also has made a provision of Rs 1,574 crore for new irrigation schemes, Rs 745 crore for flood control projects, Rs 120 crore for irrigation facilities in Jalalabad and Taalgram blocks of Kannauj (Dimple Yadav’s constituency), Rs 2,157 crore for Saryu Canal project, Rs 250 crore for channelisation of Gomti, Rs 25 crore for Varuna and Rs 5 crore for Ganga ghats in Varanasi.

For industry, Akhilesh has made a provision of Rs 40 crore for electronic manufacturing clusters on Yamuna Expressway. There is also a proposal to establish an university after developing integrated industrial township (Sangam City) area as Smart City. It has also been decided to extend metro line from Kalindi Kunj to Botanical Gargen and Noida City Sector 32 to Sector 62.

For weaker sections, a provision of Rs 1,550 crore has been made for old age/farmers’ pension, Rs 500 crore for family pension. Scheme of financial assistance for marriage of girls has been revived and Rs 121 crore for SC, Rs 1.30 crore for ST, Rs 154 crore for OBC, Rs 82 crore for minorities and Rs 41 crore for general category have been earmarked. Rs 2 crore has been allocated for compensation to the family members of sanitation workers who die during cleaning of septic tanks. Rs 541 crore has been earmarked for providing aid to destitute widows and their children belonging to general category and Rs 96 crore for destitute women belonging to SC/ST category. In medical education, a provision of Rs 4,572 crore has been made for state medical colleges and hospitals affiliated to KGMU, SGPGI, Lohia Institute and UP Rural Institute of Medical Scineces and Research, Saifai.

For relief works under the state disaster fund, Rs 709 crore has been proposed, and an action plan of Rs 2,057 crore has been prepared to offset losses in 50 drought-hit districts.

A target to distribute crop loan totaling Rs 93,212 crore for fertilisers and seeds has been set, besides a provision of Rs 450 crore for the crop insurance plan. The budget has also set a target of producing 660 lakh mt of foodgrains and 14 lakh mt oilseeds. A provision of Rs 787 crore has been made under the National Agricultural Development Scheme. The annual document has provided Rs 400 crore for setting up new dairy plants with a target to produce 362 lakh mt of milk.
It’s looking at creating jobs for 60,000 persons through fisheries and intends to cover 2.05 lakh members of fishermen societies under the Fishermen Insurance Scheme based on free premium.

A target has been drawn up to reclaim 1.3 lakh hectares of sodic land under the sodic reclamation-third projects. It has also been proposed to construct a potato market at a cost of Rs 102 crore in Kannauj and a mango market at a cost of Rs 79 crore in Malihabad.

A provision of Rs 320 crore has been made for various schemes of horticulture development and food processing and their implementation.