LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government may be patting its back for waiving debt up to Rs 1 lakh for 86 lakh small and marginal farmers, however, the adjustment came at the cost of allocation for key sectors like roads, power, health, irrigation, infrastructure and welfare in the Uttar Pradesh budget.
Out of the total allocation of Rs 55,781.96 crore for new schemes in the budget, Rs 36,000 crore was earmarked for the loan waiver scheme, leaving only Rs 19,000 for the rest.
The decision has hit projects like the Rs 20,000 crore-Poorvanchal Expressway from Lucknow to Ghazipur and the Bundelkhand Expressway till Jhansi.
Finance minister Rajesh Agarwal said that land was being purchased for the Poorvanchal Expressway, but was silent on the issue of funds. Agarwal said that he might request the Centre for its assistance on these expressway projects.
Moreover, the budget made no mention of the implementation of the recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission in the state. Besides Lucknow metro, four new projects in Kanpur, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Agra were announced, but again, without adequate budgetary push.
The SP government had earmarked Rs 850 crore for Lucknow metro, but again, the present budget brought it down to Rs 288 crore.
The present government slashed medical health allocation by Rs 34.16 crore. Similarly, budgetary provision for power sector decreased to Rs 19,437 crore from Rs 33,862 crore in the previous government. Infrastructure sector too has taken a hit with allocation down to Rs 185.69 crore from Rs 1789.79 crore.
Funds for irrigation too have been curtailed from Rs 8,960 crore to Rs 7,123 crore and so have minorities’ welfare funds from Rs 3,055 crore to Rs 2,475 crore in the present budget for 2017-18.
The state government has instead focused on cultural activities like making an e-secretariat and allocating Rs 424 crore for free distribution of school bags, shoes, sweaters, uniform and books to the students and also allocated Rs 200 crore for a culture centre in Varanasi.
To promote religious tourism in the state, Rs 800 crore was allocated for the Prasad Yojna in Ayodhya-Mathura-Kashi regions.
Moreover, a provision of Rs 1,240 crore was made for Ramayan Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Krishna Circuit in Ayodhaya, Varanasi and Mathura under the “Swadesh Darshan Yojna”.