Govt to focus on health, farmers
Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath government on Friday presented its Rs 4,28,384.52-crore budget for 2018-19 which is 11.4 per cent higher than the last fiscal.
"We have formulated the budget for the state's all-round development, keeping in mind all sections of society, including farmers, youth, women and rural development while maintaining financial discipline," chief minister Yogi Adityanath said while briefing reporters after the budget.
The 2019 parliamentary elections are crucial for the BJP-led state government as the saffron party and its allies won 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 and aim to grab all 80 seats next year.
Special emphasis was given on sectors directly related to the people such as health, education and religious tourism.
However, a major challenge of mobilising resources stares the state government in the face as no new taxes have been proposed to fund the budgetary allocations despite the declining receipts that are expected to come down from the budgeted Rs 3,77,190.88 crore to Rs 3,60,165.78 crore in 2017-2018.
Minister for finance Rajesh Agarwal, while presenting the budget, said the Uttar Pradesh Investment Summit is being organised on February 21 and 22 to develop the state as a potential destination for global investment.
Agarwal said a roadmap has been worked out for doubling the income of farmers and an amendment to the Uttar Pradesh Mandi Act has been proposed to ease the process of marketing the farmers' produce.
Agarwal said, "The budget size for 2018-19 is Rs 4,28,384,52 crore, which is 11.4 per cent higher than the last fiscal".
The budget earmarks Rs 650 crore for Bundelkhand expressway project, Rs 550 crore Gorkahpur link expressway project, Rs 1,000 crore for Purvanchal expressway, Rs 500 crore Agra-Lucknow expressway.
Budgetary provisions of Rs 30 crore have been made for e-office system in all government offices and a start up fund of Rs 250 crore has been created. For power sector schemes, Rs 29,883 crore has been allocated while Rs 1,500 crore has been kept for Kumbh Mela-2019 in Allahabad and Rs 98.5 lakh for Kanha Gau-shala and Besahara Pashu Ashray yojna.
For basic education department, Rs 18,167 crore has been earmarked for Sarv Siksha Abhiyan, Rs 76 crore and Rs 40 crore respectively for providing free books and uniforms for all students of class 1-8th.
For mid-day meal Rs 2,048 crore and Rs 167 crore for distributing fruits to students have been allocated in the budget. The government earmarked Rs 500 crore for furniture, potable water and boundary walls of schools run by Basic education department. In a bid to improve secondary education, Rs 480 crore has been allotted while Rs 26 crore for operating Deen Dayal Upadhyay government model schools.