THE Rs 4.79 lakh crore annual budget tabled in the UP Assembly Thursday focused on government schemes, infrastructure, religious tourism, cow welfare, upgradation of Sanskrit pathshalas and madrasas.
Calling it the “biggest” budget of the state to this day, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “This budget will bring happiness to the faces of all citizens of the state, and will be successful in upliftment of villages, poor, youth, farmers, women, traders etc.,” he further said, adding that it was “lok kalyankari” (welfare-oriented) rather than “lok lubhawan” (populist).
A sizeable share of the budget has been allocated to central government schemes. For example, Rs 6,240 crore has been set aside for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, Rs 6,000 crore under Swachh Bharat Mission Rural and Rs 3,488 crore under the MGNREGS.
Around Rs 523 crore has been allocated for cattle welfare in both urban and rural areas. Of this, Rs 247 crore was proposed for maintenance and construction of ‘gaushalas’ in rural areas, while Rs 200 crore will be set aside for use under the ‘Kanha gaushala and destitute cattle shelter’ scheme in urban areas.
In the infrastructure sector, Rs 3,194 crore has been proposed for construction of expressways, which includes Rs 1,194 crore for Purvanchal Expressway and Rs 1,000 crore for the Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur Link Expressways.
Laying emphasis on religious tourism, the budget proposed Rs 101 crore for “integrated development of major tourist places” in Ayodhya and another Rs 200 crore for construction of a new airport there. For expansion and beautification of a road from the Ganga riverside to Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, the government has allocated Rs 207 crore. It also set aside Rs 16 crore to set up a Vaidik Vigyan Kendra at Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya in Varanasi, Rs 8.38 crore for an auditorium in Mathura, and Rs 125 crore for infrastructure facilities in the Brij Tirtha region.
The government has proposed Rs 242 crore as grant-in aid for Sanskrit pathshalas and Rs 30 crore for grants to aided Sanskrit schools and degree colleges, besides another Rs 42 crore for promotion of Sanskrit. Rs 459 crore has been allocated for modernisation of madrasas.