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Akhilesh budget stands true to party manifesto

No new tax y 280 new schemes y Rs 2,721 cr for laptops

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: June 2, 2012 3:31:45 am

No new tax y 280 new schemes y Rs 2,721 cr for laptops

In an attempt to fulfill the ruling Samajwadi Party’s election promises,UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav proposed several freebies,including a loan waiver for farmers,but without imposing any new taxes in the state budget for 2012-2013,which he presented in the Assembly on Friday.

Yadav set aside Rs 1,100 crore for unemployment allowance,Rs 2,721 crore for giving tablets and laptops to students. He said tablets and computers will “remove the fear of computer’’ from the mind of rural students and help create opportunities of employment and progress,which were only available to students from urban areas.

Another Rs 500 crore he set aside for the loan waiver,even while saying that the previous government had left the state’s finances in a shambles,which provoked a noisy protest and walkout by Opposition Bahujan Samaj Party.

The budget has a total outlay of Rs 2 lakh crore — 18 per cent higher than last year. The fiscal deficit will be Rs 21,570 crore — 2.96 per cent of the state gross domestic product (SGDP) — and,therefore,within safe limits,the Chief Minister said in his post-budget remarks.

Similarly,the state’s debt as a fraction of both the revenue and the SGDP was also manageable,Yadav said. The state began the year with an opening balance of Rs 13,507 crore and will end the year with a closing surplus of Rs 10,184 crore,according to the budget speech of the CM.

But some of the budget estimates look questionable. For example,only Rs 500 crore has been set aside for the loan waiver,which is described as “farmers loan relief scheme”,and details of which are being worked.

Yadav said the scheme would help all those farmers who were in danger of losing their land,which they had mortgaged for getting loans but could not pay these back.

Further,the budget assume a 22 per cent increase in the state’s own revenue in spite of the countrywide economic slowdown and declining growth.

The total receipts are estimated at Rs 1.94 lakh crore,including Rs 1.21 lakh crore from taxes and Rs 59,528 crore from the state’s share in central taxes.

On the expenditure side,Rs 1.52 lakh crore of the total outlay of Rs 2 lakh crore is revenue expenditure. The size of the state plan has been fixed at Rs 51,000 crore.

The chief minister also announced 280 new schemes with a total expenditure of Rs 13,650 crore. He has proposed setting up of an IT park,a cancer hospital,an international cricket stadium,a sports complex,a milk plant and a 500-acre park in memory of the late socialist leader Janeshwar Mishra in Lucknow,besides a plan to improve and strengthen the traffic system in Lucknow,Varanasi and Kanpur by installing CCTV cameras at important crossings.

Among the new schemes are Lohia Rural Housing Scheme,Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Government Tubewell Scheme,a scheme to give battery-operated rickshaws to rickshaw pullers,and a scheme to give two saris to women and a blanket to men belonging to BPL families.

Some of the schemes described as new in the budget are actually rehashed versions of old schemes which were initiated by the Mayawati government. These are Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Samagra Gram Vikas Yojna which has replaced the Ambedkar village scheme,Rani Lakshimbai Scheme for giving a monthly pension to poor families who do not figure on the BPL list,a scheme for giving financial assistance to girls from BPL families for higher education and marriage expenses,a housing scheme for the urban poor.

In the budget,an total allocation of Rs 23,591 crore has been made for infrastructural facilities,roads,bridges, irrigation,and energy, Rs 5,432 crore for agriculture and related services,Rs 33,263 crore for expansion of education and improving its quality,Rs 7,033 crore for health and medical services,Rs 14,950 crore for social welfare,and Rs 10,378 crore for modernisation and strengthening of the police.

After presenting the budget,Yadav said his government had made efforts to fulfil the promises made to the people. He said the government would raise resources to implement the budget schemes by improving recovery by the departments.

The chief minister said that unlike the previous BSP government,his government had made no provision for statues,memorials and stones. All provisions had been made for people’s welfare in the interest of the state’s progress.

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