LUCKNOW: In an election year, Yogi Adityanath government tried to give a big push to BJP’s Hindutva and cow agenda while presenting its third budget to the tune of Rs 4.79 lakh crore for financial year 2019-20 here on Thursday.
Announcing a number of populist schemes for various sections, state finance minister Rajesh Agarwal presented the biggest ever budget pegging it at 12 per cent more than the previous 2018-19 state budget.
In the wake of its much-hyped narrative around cow protection, the Yogi government allocated Rs 447 for cow protection of which Rs 247 crore for maintenance and construction of gaushalas (cow shelters) in rural areas, and Rs 200 crore for Kanha Gaushala and Destitute Cattle Shelter Scheme in urban areas. Notably, the state government has also levied a cow protection cess on the revenue of various departments including the excise.
Out of the cess, an estimated revenue of Rs 165 crore will be utilised for maintenance of stray cattle of the state. On the other, in a strong push to Hindutva, the state finance minister staggered the allocations under various heads including religious activities, tourism, culture, and aviation also.
Keeping Ayodhya in the center, a significant Rs 200 crore was allocated to a proposed airport in Ayodhya to bring it on the tourism map of the world. In what is being seen as a cover-up for failing to keep it commitment on Ram temple with LS poll a few days away, the Yogi government allocated Rs 101 for the development of tourist and religious spots in and around the temple town.
Besides Ayodhya, the state government has also identified Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of PM Narendra Modi allocating Rs 207 crore for implementation of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Expansion Scheme. It would include expansion and beautification of the road from the Ganga bank to Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. Moreover, Mathura and Allahabad were also included in the scheme of development of religious shrines.
While Rs 8.38 crore has been proposed to get an auditorium constructed between Mathura-Vrindavan. A provision of Rs 1 crore has been made to strengthen Vrindavan Shodh Sansthan and Rs 125 crore allocated for infrastructural facilities in Uttar Pradesh Brij Tirtha.
It is also proposed to develop Rishi Bhardwaj Ashram and Shringverpur Dham in Allahabad. A provision of Rs 5 crore has been made for the construction of boundary walls around public Ramlila grounds. A budgetary provision of Rs 16 crore has been made to set up a Vaidik Vigyan Kendra
in Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya and Rs 27 crore has been set aside for integrated development of major tourist places in Garh Mukteshwar.
The budget has Rs 70 crore allocation for implementation of Tourism Policy-2018 and another Rs 50 crore for pro-poor tourism which includes strengthening of Lahartara Talab, Kabir Sthal and
Seergovardhanpur, the birthplace of Guru Ravidas, also in Varanasi. Moreover, it is also proposed to ensure the development of Vindhyachal and Naimisharanya; Sarnath, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Kapilvastu, Kaushambi and Sankisa under Buddhist Circuit; Shakumbhari Devi and Shukratal; Tulsi Peeth in Rajapur, Chitrakoot; Maharaja Suheldeo site and Chittaura Lake in Bahraich; and Bijli Pasi Qila in Lucknow.
However, in a balancing act, the state budget has a fare amount of allocation for minority welfare to reiterate its commitment to ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’. For minority welfare, a provision of Rs 942 crore under the Scholarship Scheme for students belonging to minority communities has been made and Rs 459 crore proposed for modernisation of Arabi-Farsi Madarsas. The state budget also proposes Rs. 100 crore for development of cremation grounds in rural areas of the state.
AT A GLANCE
•Total budget worth Rs 4,79,701.10 crore of which Rs 21,212.95 crore allocated forew schemes
Women & Girls
• Rs 1200 crore allocated for Sumanagala Yojna for girls’ health and educational growth.
• Rs 156 crore under the Kishori Balika Yojna
• 103.70 crore has been proposed for Mahila Samman Kosh
• Rs 4,004 crore has been proposed for a nutrition programme.
• Rs 1,410 crore earmarked for the sustenance of destitute widows and education of their children.
• Rs 1,988 crore for payment of honorarium to anganwadi workers and assistants.
• Rs 335 crore for the National Nutrition Mission
• Rs 75 crore for Sugar industry, sugarcane development including restarting closed sugar mills.
• Rs 1492 crore for Agriculture development scheme, crop insurance, fertilizers
• Purchase of wheat at the rate of Rs 1840 per quintal through 6000 purchase centres.
• Rs 145 crore for minor irrigation projects
• Rs 2,579 crore for old age , farmer pension
• Rs 845 crore for Mukhyamantri Kisan aur Sarvahit Bima Yojna
• -Rs 21,715 crore for basic education under different heads
• Rs 318 crore for secondary education
• Rs 356 crore for higher and technical education combined
• Rs 50 crore for free wi-fi across state colleges, univs
• Rs 600 crore for fee reimbursement of OBC student
• Rs 4433 crore for scholarship for poor students from various sections
• Rs 100 crore for Mukhyamantri Yuva Swarojgar yojna
• Rs 250 crore for One dist one product (ODOP)
• Rs 30 crore for unorganised labourers
• Rs 10 crore for MSME promotion policy -2017
Medical & health
• Rs 1747.50 crore for medical and health schemes