The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh Tuesday presented its maiden Budget worth Rs 3,84,659 crore, 11 per cent more than the one presented by the previous Samajwadi Party government. It included an allocation of Rs 36,000 crore to meet its poll promise of a crop loan waiver, and Rs 55,781 crore for new schemes. Having discontinued funds for some welfare and freebie schemes launched by his predecessor, the chief minister claimed that his government was able to make provisions for the loan waiver by cutting down on “shashan ki fizulkharchi” (extravagant expenses of the government).
Presented by Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal, the Budget showed a deficit of Rs 7,468 crore for the year 2017-2018 after deduction of the total expenditure from receipts of the consolidated fund. Reminding the House about the “overwhelming majority” with which the present government had come to power, Agarwal started his speech by saying, “Rashtra ki asmita ke prateek maryada purshotam bhagwan Ram ka smaran karna humari pratibadhta hai.”
Adityanath said the Budget is dedicated to “village, poor, farmer and women”, adding that over Rs 240 crore has been set aside for development and promotion of “cultural heritage” and religious tourism. Agarwal said special schemes had been formulated to promote and preserve cultural heritage as the younger generation is moving away from them. Apart from a Geeta Sodh Sansthan, a Krishna Museum would be built and a “Bhajan Sandhya Sthal” would come up in Ayodhya and Chitrakoot, he said, adding that the government had set a target 10 per cent growth rate in five years.
Apart from the farmers’ loan waiver, the state government has earmarked a large chunk of funds for the education sector.
Over Rs 21,000 crore has been allocated as the state’s share for various central government schemes, and another Rs 600 crore for state-run schemes for students. These state-run schemes would be aimed at providing shoes, socks, sweaters, schoolbags, uniforms and books to students. The government will also provide free education to girls till graduation and free WiFi facilities in colleges and universities.
Central schemes, including Rs 3255 crore for building toilets under “Swachha Bharat Mission (Rural) Scheme” will also get a considerable amount as the state’s share. A considerable sum has been set aside for projects like metro rail, a sugarcane research centre and an AIIMS in the CM’s home district Gorakhpur.