UP Budget 2018-19: A Big Push For Liveability, Infrastructure
The Uttar Pradesh Budget 2018-19 has now been tabled by Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal. In his Budget Speech, Agarwal announced an outlay of Rs 4.28 lakh crore for welfare and related services, 11.40 per cent more than what it was last year. The second full Budget of the Yogi Adityanath-led government was awaited given that both the citizens and the media were keen to understand the government’s balance between poll promises as also the overall development of Uttar Pradesh through 2018-19.
Largely pro-poor, here is what is in store for the country’s most populous state. In his Speech, Agarwal said that his government hopes to focus on health, education, employment, rural and urban development, the poor and women development.
Much on the lines of the Union Budget 2017-18, Agarwal announced a slew of welfare measures for the farmers. For instance, the farm produces, fertilisers, etc., have been kept outside the realm of the Goods and Services Tax. Organic fertilisers, manually-operated machines are also tax-free. The GST Council has also been asked to look into economising objects of daily use.
A roadmap that would enable farmers to double their income by 2022 is also being prepared. Besides, artists and artisans, their handiwork would be encouraged through various marketing schemes.
Towards an investor-friendly UP
The UP Investors Summit 2018 has been organised in Lucknow to further investment in the state. The focus sectors include farm and fertilisers, dairy industry, handloom and textile, electronics, film, tourism, aviation among others. Road shows have also been organised across metro cities of Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, establishing UP as the to-be investor’s delight.
Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, new routes would be planned connecting regions that score high in terms of tourism. Jewar Airport is one such plan. The overall agenda would be to push employment, e-commerce, etc., and thereby, investments within the state.
*Under the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission, UP would be working towards the Open-Defecation-Free tag by October 2, 2018. For this, the government has allocated Rs 1,100 crore.
*Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), 60 cities have been identified. Under the mission, over 13.30 lakh families would also be supplied with water connections. In the financial year 2017-18, under PMAY (U), the government aims to construct five lakh homes. For this, Rs 2,217 crore have been allocated for the next financial year.
*About Rs 7,482 crore have been allotted for the clean Ganga mission.
*Under the Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana, Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned.
*LED lights would be used as street lights now on.
*Two new municipal corporations would surface soon- the Mathura-Vrindavan Nagar Nigam and Ayodhya-Faizabad Nagar Nigam. This would smoothen city development undertakings in these regions.
*Lucknow and other regions would also receive funds to the tune of Rs 300 crore for citizen welfare undertakings.
*Smart cities Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Varanasi, Allahabad, Aligarh, Jhansi, Moradabad, Bareily and Saharanpur have been conferred with funds to the tune of Rs 1,650 crore.
Big push to infrastructure
*The Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Metro connectivity for Kanpur, Meerut and Agra has been prepared. Once approved, enhanced transport and resultant connectivity would be a big push for investments within the state. For Metro and related constructions, Rs 500 crore has been allocated.
*Further, Metro connectivity in Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Jhansi are also been considered.
*In the next financial year, 41 railway bridges would be started. Another 719 roads would be converted into four-lane roads. Funds of Rs 23,824 crore have been allotted for road and related infrastructure.
* Bundelkhand Expressway at a cost of Rs 650 crore, Gorakhpur Link Expressway at a budget of Rs 550 crore, Purvanchal Expressway at the cost of Rs 500 crore have been sanctioned.
*Funds have also been allotted for restoration, maintenance and repair of new and old roads.
*Regional Rapid Transit System (Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor) has been allocated Rs 250 crore.
*UP Tourism would witness a new wave as 38 regions within the state have been identified as eco-tourism spots.
UP to go online
Under the Ease-of-Doing-Business mission, a reform action plan would be introduced wherein 20 different departments would allow applications, send out permissions, licenses – all of these online ushering in citizen welfare measures. Agarwal also informed that measures to adopt single-window clearances is also being considered. Besides, e-tendering, e-filing have already started.
Employment in UP
*The Budget 2018-19 has also dedicated Rs 250 crore for startups in the state. Moreover, Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway have been declared electronic manufacturing zones. This could be a boost to industries who would now consider setting up shops in these regions. Real estate, otherwise in a slump, could also wake up to the housing demand that would be generated in the near future, thanks to new jobs in and around Noida.
*Besides, Vedic Science Centre in Varanasi, centres for healing through Yoga, wellness centres – altogether 42 such centres would be established across 40 districts.
Law and order in UP
*The overall liveability gets affected by the law and security provisions that a state adopts. Special Police Operation Team has been commissioned to fight terrorism and related issues.
*For women, 64 rescue vans have been provided. Additionally, 181 women helpline call-centres would see increased manpower – from six seats to 30 seats. This would ensure that the call centres are ready to help women who call on the helpline numbers round the clock.
*Agarwal also stated that under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural), nine lakh families have been registered while 8.87 lakh registrations have been accepted and verified and funds have been allotted. Funds to the tune of Rs 11,500 crore have been allotted for the next year.
*Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), 37 roads have been planned and new schemes at the cost of Rs 2,500 crore have been initiated.
*Over 19,500 self-help groups would be formed with a revolving fund while another 12,000 such groups would be allotted investment funds to begin their operations under the Rashtriya Grameen Aajivika Mission. Funds worth Rs 1.40 crore have been allotted for the upcoming year.