Mayawati government’s budget focuses on infrastructure

February 4th, 2010 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 4 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government’s annual budget of Rs.153,000 crore, tabled in the state assembly here Thursday, provides a major thrust to infrastructure, energy, information technology, rural employment and health.
The tax-free budget has avoided any allocation towards Chief Minister Mayawati’s obsession — memorials and statues on which her government has spent more than Rs.5,000 crore so far.

And though Mayawati has vehemently criticised the central government for denying Uttar Pradesh a special economic package of Rs.85,000 crore for development of the backward Bundelkhand and Purvanchal regions, the budget has allocated just Rs.390 crore for this.

The government, however, has allocated Rs.8,000 crore to the power sector to boost industrial development.

Besides, schemes worth Rs.9,226 crore were forwarded to the Rural Electrification Corp for providing electricity to some 127,000 villages.

A provision of Rs.5,808 crore was also made for the construction of roads and bridges during 2010-11, besides Rs.4,758 towards construction and maintenance of hospitals.

On the IT front, provision has been made for establishing public service centres in 18,000 villages to provide services like issue of birth and death certificates, ration cards, residence and caste certificates and registration in employment exchanges.

The budget also envisages setting up 28 new courts “exclusively for hearing cases of corruption”.

In order to promote self-employment, the budget provides for establishment of 9,500 village industry units in the coming financial year, for which a provision of Rs.247 crore has been made.

It also talks about providing employment to 25,000 weavers, besides creating 900,000 new small entrepreneurs under the urban self-employment scheme.

An allocation of Rs.400 crore has been made to benefit 75 lakh families under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Interestingly, Finance Minister Lalji Verma kept fumbling for details on being confronted by routine queries at a press briefing after he tabled the budget.

A flustered Verma finally excused himself on the pretext of going back to the house, following which the press was briefed by cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh.

Asked to comment on the absence of any attempt by the government to curb rising prices, Singh said: “There is precious little that any state government can do to curb prices.”

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