Maintaining that the supplementary budget tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday was a step in the direction for Uttar Pradesh towards achieving 1 trillion dollar economy in next three years, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, admitted that the target was not easy to achieve.
To push infrastructure development in the state, the BJP-led government in its first supplementary budget of Rs 13,590 crore has set aside a majority of funds for expressways and urban development.
Stating that with current economic growth, it would take 12-15 years to achieve the $1 trillion target, the CM said the state needs to run ahead of time to achieve it by 2022.
“UP bahut peeche hai (UP is far behind). With the current speed, it would take 12-15 years to achieve this target, so the state needs to race against time,” said Adityanath. But, he added, Uttar Pradesh had the potential to become the “greatest economy of the country with good connectivity, water resources, manpower and commitment of the government to provide security”.
Amid criticism from Leader of Opposition and senior Samajwadi Party leader Ramgovind Chaudhary who said that the BJP government in the state has failed to utilise even 50 per cent of the funds announced in the main Budget, the Chief Minister said that everyone’s support would be required to achieve the ambitious target.
“We indulge in petty politics, dole out things. We need to change the mindset for permanent solution and development. Efforts should be made to set targets in agriculture, industry, power, water supply and financial reform sectors for the next five years,” he said in his over two-hour-long speech.
He added that investment of Rs 70,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore is needed in different sectors to achieve the targets.
Adityanath claimed company giants like Samsung and TCS were on the brink of winding up their operations in Uttar Pradesh due to the state’s “political atmosphere”, but they stayed back after his government came to power in 2017 and reassured them of safety.
“When we came to power in March 2017, Samsung, TCS were running away from the state. Today, Samsung has made an investment of Rs 5,000 crore. TCS, which was winding up operations in Lucknow, is investing in other places in UP as well,” he said.
He also claimed that during his tenure, there has not been any farmers’ protest, except some “at the behest of a political party”.
“Those, who tried to throw rotten potatoes outside the Governor House in Lucknow, have got their lessons in Kannauj,” he said, indirectly referring to SP leader and former CM Akhilesh Yadav’s wife, Dimple Yadav, who lost from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat this time.
Repeating that the perception about Uttar Pradesh is changing, Adityanath said that organising Kumbh in Prayagraj and Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Varanasi around same time was a step in the direction.
He informed the House that 14 new medial colleges are coming up across the state. “While token provision has been made in the Budget, approval has been sought from the Government of India,” he said.
He also maintained that air connectivity has improved during his regime. “Today the air connectivity has increased to 55 cities from just 25 places (before he came to power) across the country.” The CM went on to announce a new scheme, Mukhyamantri Paryatan Samvardhan Yojna. “One place in every Assembly constituency would be identified for developing it into a tourism destination,” he said, seeking support of all the legislators to use their local area development fund.
He added that government aid would also be there, besides public contribution and CSR funds would be sought for the development of such tourists spots in every Assembly constituency.
The Opposition, however, refused to accept the claims. Chaudhary said such a long speech is anti-farmer, anti-poor, anti-employment, anti-students and anti-women. “The chief minister is not a finance minister and the House should be informed that what was the need for a supplementary Budget. There is not a single word on why this supplementary Budget has been tabled. Funds announced in the main budget have not been utilised. Spending in none of the department has gone beyond 50 per cent, while for most it is around 15-40 per cent,” said Chaudhary.
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