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10 June 2012

UP budget 2012-13: Akhilesh Yadav woos Muslims and farmers

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By Ashish Tripathi

Lucknow: Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav presented his first budget in the state assembly on Friday morning. The budget 2012-13 is of Rs 2 lakh crore, which is 18% higher than 2011-12 budget. The state government has made special allocations to fulfill the poll promises made by the Samajwadi Party before elections. The promises include loan waivers to farmers and weavers, minority welfare, laptops and tablets to students, unemployment allowance among other things.

The budgetary allocation for minority welfare, particularly Muslims, has been increased by 81% in comparison to preceding year. Apart from promoting education and creation employment opportunities for Muslims. It includes small but effective-vote-getter provisions like Rs 100 crore for assisting marriages of Muslim girls and Rs 200 crore for maintenance of graveyards. Muslim constitute 20% of UP's population. Of 403 assembly constituency in UP, 140 have Muslim population over 30%. Similarly, out of 80 Lok Sabha seats, 28 have Muslim population above 30%. In assembly elections, Samajwadi Party won 120 Muslim dominated seats. Of these 120 seats, 43 were won by Muslim candidates. The party wants to capture most of the Muslim dominate Lok Sabha seat in 2014 general elections.

The state government has also focused on agriculture and farmers in big way. Over Rs 5400 crore have been allocated for agriculture. Besides, a sum of Rs 500 crore has been sanctioned for loan waiver for farmers, Rs 450 crore for farmer insurance and Rs for farmer pension, Rs 400 crore to clear sugarcane dues of farmers, Rs 137.82 crore for free distribution of fertilisers and seeds to farmers and Rs 1473 crore for old age/farmer pension among other things.

Photo Courtesy: The Hindu
Interestingly, populist measures like allocation of Rs 200 crore to distribute two sarees to woman and one blanket each to elderly of below poverty line families. Further, Rs 100 crore has been proposed for providing ultra-modern battery/solar energy operated rickshaw to rickshaw pullers and Rs 11 crore for people, who went to jail during the emergency period between 1975-77, for free travel in government roadways buses.

Proposal of Rs 10,373.20 crore has been made for modernisation and strengthening of police force with a view to streamlining law and order in the state. Provision of adequate funds for installing CCTV cameras at important road crossings in Lucknow, Varanasi and Kanpur in order to strengthening traffic arrangement in these three big cities. A budgetary provision of Rs 417.75 crore is proposed in 2012-13 under the modernisation scheme for construction of residential and non-residential buildings of the police department.

The budget indicates that Akhilesh government is depending heavily on public private partnership moder for industrial, infrastructure and housing in the state. No significant allocation has been made for establishing big industries. Chief minister said that government will play the role of facilitator. However, the government has set a target of setting up Rs 50 crore for micro and small enterprises with a view to create employment for four lakh people in 2012-13.

The allocation of Rs 33263 crore has been for education sector, which is 20% higher than last year. Of total amount, Rs 25,109 crore has been made for primary education secondary and Rs 9,613 for secondary education. Significantly, out of total budget of secondary education, one third is for distribution of tablets and laptops to students. The higher education has got Rs 2501 crore in which 36 colleges will be constructed in districts with low enrollment ratio. A provision of Rs 507 crore has been made for vocational educations, Rs 479 crote for technical education and Rs 1907 crore for medical education. The government has announced construction of 14 new medical colleges in different parts of the state. Over 1100 crore has been allocated for unemployment allowance to be distributed among nine lakh BPL youth. The money for laptops, tablets and unemployment allowance has been arranged by diverting funds earmarked by previous chief minister for construction and maintenance of dalit memorials and parks.

A provision of Rs. 4,419.87 crore for public health, which s 18% more than previous financial year. A lot of money will go on providing free treatment to poor. Also, a cancer hospital has been proposed in Lucknow.

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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