Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath  and Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna before the presentation of State Budget 2020-21 in the UP Legislative Assembly, in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna before the presentation of State Budget 2020-21 in the UP Legislative Assembly, in Lucknow on Tuesday.

With next Assembly elections less than two years from now, the Yogi Adityanath-led Bhartiya Janta Party government’s budget for 2020-21 focuses on youth, infrastructure and health sectors which are expected to give a push to the economy.

Presented days after massive drubbing in Delhi, the budget of the State is the largest one - Rs 5.12 lakh crore which is Rs 33,000 crore more compared to last fiscal.

“Our first budget focussed on farmers, the second one on industrial development and the third one on women empowerment. The fourth budget focusses on youth and infrastructure; both will help us to achieve the target of one trillion dollars economy,” chief minister Yogi Adityanath claims while speaking to media after the budgetary presentation in the State Legislature by the finance minister Suresh Khanna.

However, an Apprenticeship training scheme for youth, which will offer Rs 2,500 a month, gets only Rs 100 cr which may not suffice for 4 lakh youth for a month. Apprenticeships are usually for six months or above. Rs 50 crore allocated for entrepreneurship also look minuscule.

Ayodhya, PM’s constituency Varanasi and CM’s home turf Gorakhpur have got a major boost in the budget.

Ayodhya, where the construction of a magnificent Ram temple is expected to begin soon, is included in “smart city” mission, gets Rs 500 crore for the airport, Rs 85 crores to make the city as a tourist spot, and another Rs 10 crore for renovation of Tulsi Smarak Bhavan.

Varanasi gets Rs 200 crore for the beautification of Kashi Vishwanath temple, Rs 180 crore for a cultural centre and Rs 18 crore for Vedic Vigyan Kendra.

Gorakhpur is included in “smart city mission”, gets Ayush University, metro train and water sports facility in this budget.

Health and women safety

Massive investment is proposed for upgrading healthcare of Lucknow including premier hospitals such as King George Medical University (Rs 919 cr), Sanjay Gandhi PG Institute (Rs 820 cr), Ram Manohar Lohia hospital (Rs 477 Cr) and Cancer Hospital (Rs187 Cr). Saifai Medical College also gets Rs 309 cr and up-gradation of district and women hospitals (Rs 70 cr).

The budget also talks about Trauma centre at civil hospital and expanding primary healthcare through “Jan Arogya Mela” on Sundays and setting up new primary and secondary health centres.

Rs 97 crore is allocated to make the State capital safe for women.

Education and Law

Provisions have been made for Atal residential schools (Rs 257 cr). The government also proposes forensic university, one Ayush and one law universities, three State universities in Aligarh, Saharanpur and Azamgarh.

To improve law and order, the government seeks to upgrade the working and living conditions of the cops, HC Judges residences (Rs100 cr), new courts (Rs1,200 cr) and lawyers’ welfare (Rs40 Cr).

Big allocations

Big allocations include smart city mission (Rs 20,000) to upgrade Lucknow, Kanpur and other cities, Jal Jeevan Mission (Rs 3,000 cr), Rs 2,000 crore each for Jewar Airport in Noida and “Ganga Expressway” between Meerut and Prayagraj, Swachh Bharat (Rs 5,790 cr), nutrition drive to curb malnutrition (Rs 4,000 cr) and new irrigation schemes (Rs 5,600 cr).

Fiscal deficit of Rs 53,195 crore is estimated in the financial year 2020-21, which is 2.97 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). The debt liability is estimated to be 28.8 per cent of the GSDP.

Directionless, says opposition

BSP leader Lalji Verma described the budget as "directionless", Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief says, “The government has bluffed the people by big announcements without giving any details about its specific achievements of the last three budgets.”

Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu alleges budget deceives youth and farmers both, “The BJP had come to power after promising to hike MSP for wheat to Rs450. All it has given in three years is just Rs10 per quintal hike. There is no provision to reduce farmers input cost.”

He adds, “Number of unemployed in UP has gone up from 21 lakhs to 33 lakhs in a year but the budget talks about hiring retired teachers.”

He claimed Atal residential schools aim to shutdown Navoday Vidyalay-set up by late Rajiv Gandhi.

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