Uttar Pradesh introduces quota for construction work up to Rs 5 lakh

Written by fe Bureau | Lucknow | Updated: Jun 27 2009, 01:40am hrs
The Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday decided to introduce reservation in all the new contracts that would be awarded for construction work up to Rs 5 lakh. While 21% quota would be for the scheduled castes (SCs), a 2% quota has been fixed for the scheduled tribes (STs).

Announcing this after a Cabinet meeting, the chief minister said a similar arrangement is being implemented in other government departments and the education sector. The move, seen in the aftermath of the recent BSP drubbing at the hustings, is an initiative to woo the dalit vote bank back to the BSP fold.

Elaborating on the decision, Mayawati said the 21% reservation for the SCs and the 2% for STs would be extended in construction contracts worth up to Rs 5 lakh that are being carried out by working divisions of various departments, corporations, enterprises, authorities and parishads in the state.

The chief minister said while earlier her government had been identifying new Ambedkar villages every year and working for their development, now on the government would concentrate on the maintenance and upkeep of the 2,000 identified Ambedkar villages.

Despite taking up the development of the Ambedkar villages, their maintenance and upkeep had not been up to my expectations, Mayawati said, adding that emphasis would be given on Dalit localities while constructing roads and taking up other development activities. In the first phase for construction of roads in Dalit localities of the Ambedkar villages, Rs 800 crore would be invested, while another Rs 260 crore would be spent on the construction of community centres.

These community centres would also be open for social and cultural functions of the Sarv Samaj, she said. The chief minister said all dalit localities in the identified villages would be provided with solar sodium lamps covering 10,000 such areas in the first phase.

To remove corruption and stop victimisation of traders and business community, the state Cabinet also decided to abolish trade tax checkposts in the state. Before the Mayawati government came to power, there were 83 such check posts in the state that have now been reduced to 37. Stating that the government had decided to abolish the remaining 37, Mayawati said, This would stop the harassment of traders and eliminate the scope of corruption. The government decided to make Form 38 web-based and the traders can now download it from the trade tax department website and submit it without going to the trade tax office. Traders ledger books can be updated through the website which would be a great respite for the business community. An amendment would be made in the Act to include these benefits, she said.

It may be mentioned that these were long-pending demands of the business community in the state and would go a long way in curbing corruption and saving precious time.