Akhilesh govt’s freebies to cost state Rs 1500 cr more
More than Rs 1,500 crore out of the supplementary budgetary proposals totalling
Rs 5,861.29 crore, which Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav presented in the Assembly on Monday, are on account of various freebies announced by the state government. Obviously, the government’s initial calculations, as contained in the budget passed in June, have gone awry.
The freebies for which the government now needs extra money include loan waiver for farmers, financial assistance for minority girls, Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme, Rani Laximbai pension scheme and a waiver on the pending dues of powerloom owners.
An extra Rs 400 crore has been demanded for the loan waiver for farmers. This is in addition to a budgetary allocation of Rs 500 crore. The loan waiver scheme, which was part of the SP election manifesto, was announced by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on November 22 on the occasion of Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh’s birthday. Its total cost, according to the government’s own estimates, will be Rs 1,650 crore.
A sum of Rs 250 crore has been sought for financial assistance to minority community girls who have cleared high school examination. The amount is in addition to Rs 100 crore, provided for in the budget. Under this scheme, these girls are entitled to a cash assistance of Rs 30,000.
For Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme, under which girls passing Class XII are given cash assistance of Rs 30,000, the supplementary budget proposals seek Rs 450 crore. In the budget, there was already a provision for Rs 446 crore.
Rs 139 crore has been sought for the Rani Laxmi Bai pension scheme meant for BPL families who are not covered under any other welfare scheme. For this scheme, Rs 1,111 crore was allocated in the budget.
Among other freebies, the government has demanded Rs 200 crore for the facility of free water from government tubewells and canals to farmers, Rs 50 crore for waiving pending power dues of power loom weavers, and Rs 16.40 crore for the honorarium of Loktantra Rakshak Senanis of Indira Gandhi’s Emergency.
Besides the freebies, the government’s other calculations, too, seem to have gone haywire. Rs 100 crore has been sought for road widening and strengthening for Kumbh. In the budget, there was an allocation of Rs 256 crore for this purpose.
The supplementary demands include many for the Etawah-Mainpuri-Kannauj belt, which is the political base of the Mulayam family.
Rs 1 crore each has been sought for the construction of the Etawah campus of Agriculture and Research University, Kanpur; a cricket stadium in Kannauj; a sports college in Saifai, medical college in Badaun, and a girls’ inter-college in Saifai.
In addition, there is Rs 2.5 crore for developing sports facilities in Saifai, Rs 1.5 crore for Rural Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Saifai, Rs 1.5 crore has been earmarked each for setting up heart care and cancer facilities at the medical college in Kannauj and Rs 4.23 crore for purchasing land for setting up a central school in Etawah.
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