Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday tabled his fifth annual budget of Rs 3,46,935 crore for 2016-17 in the state legislature.
Yadav, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented a budget that aims to address the aspirations of all sections of the society and maintains a regional balance. The budget shows an increase of 14.6% over the last year’s allocation.
Laying stress on development, Yadav earmarked Rs 814 crore for Lucknow Metro and Rs 50 crore each for proposed metro rails in Varanasi and Kanpur. He also announced the setting up of two new government engineering colleges — one in Devipatan and another in Basti, and a new medical college in Bijnor district in the next fiscal. Apart from this, 1,200 new skill development centres will also be set up.
Giving importance to the state’s rural base, the budget also provided Rs 1,336 crore for payment of cane arrears to farmers and made provisions to distribute crop loan of Rs 93,212 crore for purchase of fertilisers, seed, etc.
In order to propel faster industrial development in the state, the government has made a provision of Rs 4,003 crore for the construction of Agra-Lucknow Expressway along with Rs 1,500 crore for the proposed Lucknow-Azamgarh-Ballia Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway. Arrangement of Rs 40 crore has also been made for electronic manufacturing clusters to be established on the Yamuna Expressway.
Keeping in mind the fact that assembly elections are due in 2017, the CM also tried to make the budget populist by making provisions for schemes that the party had promised in its election manifesto. Speaking to mediapersons, the chief minister observed that the budget was aimed at spurring ‘balanced development’ in UP and benefitting all sections of society.