Mayawati’s budget allocates lion’s share to infrastructure, social sector

February 13th, 2009 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 13 (IANS) Infrastructure and minority welfare grabbed the lion’s share of allocation in the second budget of the 20-month-old Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh, presented by Finance Minister Lalji Verma in the state assembly here Friday.
Top priority was been accorded to the development of infrastructure in the Rs.1,335.96 billion (Rs.133,596-crore) budget, with the allocation for the sector taking a 19 percent jump over that allocated in the previous year.

With an obvious eye on garnering Muslim votes at the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the provision for welfare schemes for the minorities has also been enhanced.

A provision of Rs.76.75 billion (Rs.7,675 crore) has been earmarked for construction of roads and bridges, while Rs.48.45 billion (Rs.4,845 crore) has been allocated for housing, drinking water, sewerage and other urban infrastructure schemes.

These include an outlay of about Rs.19 billion (Rs.1,900 crore) towards various schemes, such as housing for the poor as well as improvement of slums across the state, which have been named after ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshi Ram.

The budget, however, shows a 5.3 percent deficit, which the government hopes to partly meet by taking a loan of Rs.120 billion (Rs.12,000 crore) from the public provident fund kitty.

A provision of Rs.94 billion (Rs.9,400 crore) has been made for schemes under the social sector, which include an allocation of Rs.2.39 billion (Rs.239 crore) for disabled destitutes.

Significantly, education too has received precedence over other sectors with an overall provision of Rs.190.37 billion (Rs.19,037 crore).

The budget also includes a provision of Rs.2.39 billion (Rs.239 crore) towards establishment of a state university named after BSP national general secretary and the party’s Brahmin mascot Satish Chandra Misra’s mother, the late Shakuntala Misra.

Likewise, a special provision of Rs.98.46 billion (Rs.9,846 crore) has been made in the budget for augmenting the power sector in the energy-starved state.

A number of measures have been taken with a view to wooing minorities. These include allocation of Rs.2.12 billion (Rs.212 crore) for giving special scholarships to Muslims, doubling of the grant of the Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy, construction of a Haj House at Lucknow and Ghaziabad, besides opening of an Arabic-Persian University in the state capital.

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