Govt Presents Rs 6.90 Lakh Cr Budget; Govt’s Focus is on Infra, says Khanna

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Uttar Pradesh Budget 2023 LIVE updates: Uttar Pradesh finance minister Suresh Khanna on Wednesday presented the state’s annual budget, for the financial year 2023-24 and highlighted the 16.8 per cent growth in the state’s GDP. This is the second budget for the Yogi 2.0 government.

“The state has recorded a 16.8% increase in state GDP which is higher than the national growth rate,” Suresh Khanna said in his budget speech. He added that the unemployment rate was 14.4 per cent before 2017 and has come down to 4.2 per cent.

This is the second budget for ‘Yogi 2.0,’ or chief minister Yogi Adityanath, under whose leadership the ruling BJP was re-elected in March last year.

In his speech, the UP finance minister made several announcements. Read highlights here

The annual budget, with an approximate size of Rs 7 lakh crore, focused on infrastructure development, welfare schemes and empowerment of youths and women in the state, as expected.

The 2023 UP budget assumes significance and is an opportunity for the Yogi government to woo different sections of society including, youths, women, farmers and deprived classes etc because of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections slated for April-May 2024. At a high level meeting recently, Yogi Adityanath had indicated that the new budget would be in accordance with the aspirations of the people.

On May 26 last year, the state government had presented an annual budget of Rs 6.15 lakh crore. A supplementary budget of Rs 33,769.55 crore was presented on December 5, 2022, taking the total size of the UP budget in 2022-2023 to Rs 6.50 lakh crore. An increase of about 10% in the outlay may take the annual budget for 2023-2024 to nearly Rs 7 lakh crore.

For students, the government allotted Rs 3,600 crore for the provision of tablets and smartphones to eligible students of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Empowerment Scheme.

Aditionally, a sum of Rs 1,050 crore under Chief Minister Kanya Sumangala Yojana, which offers financial assistance to the guardians or parents of two girl children in one family. Further, a sum of Rs 4,032 crore for destitute widows, Rs 600 crore for Samuhik Vivah scheme for the marriage of all girls of all classes, Rs 150 crore under the marriage grant scheme for daughters of poor people belonging to other backward classes.

Infra Push

An outlay of Rs 21,159 crore has been announced for construction of roads, bridges; Rs 6,209 crore for maintenance

Khanna said Rs 3,473 crore is proposed for the work of bridges and roads for agricultural marketing facilities and Rs 1,525 crore for roads in rural areas.

While Rs 1,700 crore is proposed for the construction of railway overhead bridges and Rs 1,850 crore for other bridges, the budget proposed Rs 2,588 crore for widening/strengthening and new works of state highways.

With religious tourism in mind, the budget proposed Rs 1,000 crore for the development of ‘Dharmarth Marg’ (roads to religious places).

The budget also proposed Rs 3,000 crore for maintenance of roads and ₹2,500 crore for construction from the State Road Fund, Khanna said.

A provision of Rs 100 crore for the implementation of the metro rail project in Varanasi, Gorakhpur and other cities

For Gorakhpur Industrial Corridor, set to be established near the Gorakhpur Link Expressway, the state government has proposed an outlay of Rs 200 crore

Rs 1,306 crore set aside for the Delhi-Ghaziabad Meerut Corridor Regional Rapid Transit System project

Rs 200 crore for the Unity Mall where One District One Product (ODOP) products are sold

The 2023 UP budget assumes significance also because of the Lok Sabha elections, slated for April-May 2024; as the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh sends 80 members to the lower house of Parliament – the highest among all states and UTs. In 2014 and 2019, the BJP won 71 and 62 seats respectively from Uttar Pradesh, and crossed the majority mark in Lok Sabha on its own.

In 2024, PM Narendra Modi and the BJP will seek their third term at the Centre.

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