UP Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav presented his last last and fifth budget of his government positioning himself for 2017 assembly elections by projecting various development schemes of infrastructure development and populist social security measures. While claiming that his government fulfilled most of the electoral promises, in his budget proposals, he targeted particularly farmers and youths. He announced “Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway” to connect eastern UP with its capital Lucknow. He promised that the people of state would get electric supply of 16 hours in rural and 22-24 hours in urban areas.
Yadav informed the jam-packed House of assembly that the coming year would be dedicated to farmers and youths. Metrorail construction is going on in NOIDA, greater NOIDA and Lucknow. The government has started the process to build Metro in Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut. He said that UP has become first state in terms of capital expenditures in the country which will go a long way in the efficient deployment of state resources. The government allocated 50-50 crores rupees for Metrorail in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency-Varanasi and Kanpur but no amount for Agra and Meerut. In Noida Metrorail services would be extended from Kalindikunj to Botanical Garden and Noida City Centre to Sector 62.
The Chief Minister said, “Philosophy of his government to go for a balanced development. We worked for accelerating the economic growth rate of the state and containing facial deficit.” “For that we have invested in the basic infrastructure and made practical policies in a healthy and transparent manner. At the same time we ensured that the benefit of the development reach to comparatively weaker sections, farmers, villagers, labours and minorities,” he added. The ambitious budget for 2016-17 of Rs 6814.17 crores deficit, reflects total expenditure of 3,46,934.78 crores which contains revenue expenditure of Rs 2,53,354.54 crores and Rs 93580.24 crores capital expenditure.
Announcing that his government has raised the target of the beneficiaries of Samajwadi pension scheme from 45 lakhs to 55 lakhs. We have opened three crores six lakh bank accounts and directly credited the amount of their pension. He said that the government has granted old-age pensions to 39 lakhs people and widow pension to 16 lakhs women.
In view of hue and cry over continuous drought conditions in most of the Uttar Pradesh, worst in the Bundelkhand, Chief Minister said that in place of Farmer’s Accident Insurance Scheme- “Samajwadi Sarvahit Insurance Scheme would be launched from this budget 2016-2017 thereunder around 2.50 crores account holder farmers would be covered. The government has also enlarged its scope and included his family members raising its limit up to 5 lakh rupees. He informed that the government has provided Rs 1336 crores to clear outstanding dues of cane arrears.
Bundelkhand got deserved special attention where more than hundred farmers have committed suicide and around 400 died due to shock unnaturally. Marriages in many family have been broken due to financial crisis. As expected politically, Chief Minister gave priority to Bundelkhand in his budget. Size of special schemes for this area increased from Rs. 71.50 crores to Rs. 200 crores. Drinking water arrangements got 200 crores rupees. Rs 500 crores have been provided for schemes based on surface resources in the area of Bundelkhand and Vindhya region.
Akhilesh Yadav highlighted that his government is pursuing socialist ideology wherein special emphasis is given to health services. His government has improved quality of health services and hospitals have been equipped with latest diagnostic systems besides network of ambulances. All the 18 Divisional headquarters would be provided with dialysis units for serious kidney patients. Plastic and burn units would be established in all the District hospitals.
The poor law and order situation of the state has been in debate ever since Samajwadi Party came to power in 2012. Crime against women gave bad name to government. The budget also provide Rs. 456 crores for improving policing by strengthening Dial -100 service, besides 216 crores rupees have been earmarked for the modernisation of police force. Rs 111 crores for betterment of transport system in 12 major cities and Rs 161 crores for further expansion of “Smart City Surveillance System.” Forensic laboratory would be established at Lucknow, Allahabad, Kannauj and Jhansi and Rs. 40 crores have been allocated for it.
Infrastructural sector including roads and bridges, transport, energy both conventional and non-conventional, irrigation, urban development, housing got due attention in the budget. Agra Lucknow expressway and Samajwadi Poorvanchal Expressway from Balia- Azamgarh Lucknow got Rs 4003 and Rs1500 crores respectively. Populist measures also signify the way Samajwadi Party making its strategy to regain power in the next elections.
Soon after tabling of the budget on the floor of the house leader of opposition Swami Prasad Mourya alleged that budget neglected youths, dalits and poor of the villages. BJP leader Suresh Khanna termed it anti-people and walked out from the house.