Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal presented the Budget for the country’s most populous state in the Vidhan Sabha at Lucknow on Friday, 16 February.
The Budget, amounting to a total of Rs 4,28,384 crore (11 per cent more than that of 2017) appeared to be in line with the Centre’s focus on improving the condition of farmers and healthcare as well as expand the existing infrastructure, especially connectivity, across the country.
It is apparent that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath – who called the Budget the biggest ever for the state – intends to ensure that the Centre and the State work in tandem to execute the plans and policies.
In the Budget, Finance Minister Agarwal earmarked huge funds for development of the rural areas, betterment of roads and uplifting of the underprivileged classes.
The minister announced a sum of Rs 29,883.05 crores for providing electricity in every house of the state, an amount 54 per cent more than that of previous Budget.
Just like the Union Budget 2018, the UP Budget too laid special emphasis on farmers.
Around Rs 8,403 crore has been allotted for farming, irrigation and other related activities – an amount which is 17 per cent more than the previous Budget.
The government plans to open 5500 centres for purchase of wheat has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for national rural drinking water scheme.
Rs 10,938.19 crore will be spent on the irrigation projects, including 8 important ones in Bundelkhand, and flood control across the state.
The various irrigation schemes, when completed, will lead to an increase of 1 lakh hectares of irrigable land, the CM informed the media.
An amount of Rs 17615.29 crore has been earmarked for construction of roads to improve connectivity across the state.
At the press conference held after the presentation of the Budget, the CM said that the amount to be spent for rural development will be around 29 per cent more than that of previous government at Rs 22,110.
Healthcare, which has been one of the key concerns for the Yogi government, has been paid special attention to in the Budget.
A total of Rs 1751.47 crores have been earmarked for medical colleges across the state. An allotment of Rs 500 crore has been made to upgrade district hospitals to medical colleges and build eight new medical colleges.
Expenditure on healthcare education, family welfare and AYUSH has been pegged at Rs 21,197.58 crore
Further, an allotment of Rs 743 crore has been made for medicines in various medical colleges and another Rs 710 crore for improving facilities in CHC, PHC and district hospitals.
Besides healthcare, the government has decided to spend over Rs 68 thousand crore on education.
The government will be spending Rs 766 crore in the form of scholarship for general category students. An amount of Rs 1411.30 crore has been allotted for backward class, Rs 1,950 crore for Scheduled Caste and Rs 23.97 for Scheduled Tribes.
A special expenditure of Rs 200 core has been announced for landless people, including those of Musahar caste, in 1,556 villages under the CM Awas Yojna.
Proposal for three new metro projects in Kanpur, Agra and Meerut was also made in the Budget.