The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has undertaken a huge number of development projects, ranging from education to infrastructure, to piped water supply to arid and drought prone regions. But the Chief Minister of the state has not ignored the sentimental aspirations of the people of the state, including farmers and the girl child and, in his last budget (the first paperless budget of the state), allotted a total of Rs 140 crore for the all-round development of the city of Ayodhya, including the development of Suryakund in Ayodhya.
This is just a part of the slew of projects – for example, Rs 597 crore will be given for Kanpur Metro Rail this year, as well as Rs 50 crore for the construction of Rashtriya Prerna Sthal in Lucknow – that the budget presented.
Ayodhya is being virtually rebuilt as a major city, as well as a major tourist attraction. It will have its own airport, already under construction, and it will be called the Maryada Purushottam Shriram Airport, Ayodhya. Rs 101 crore has been proposed for this project. The principal attraction of the city, of course, will be the massive Ram Mandir, and Rs 300 crore has been allotted for a Ram Mandir to Ayodhya Dham Road. A further Rs 100 crore has been proposed for tourism development in Ayodhya.
During the budget presentation, the state’s Finance Minister Suresh Khanna said that the state government was committed to the promise of doubling farmers’ income. To this end he announced a sum of Rs 700 crore earmarked for free irrigation.
It was clear that the government was taking the farmers’ issue very seriously, when it was announced that Rs 600 crore is being set aside for the farmers’ accident welfare scheme. Over and above, Rs 400 crore was allotted for crop loans. If that was not enough, the government has planned to earmark Rs 3,100 crore for farmers’ pension.
On the side, aiding farmers, as well as adding the much needed green touch, the government proposes to set up 15,000 solar pumps (picture right). This will help marginal farmers, who have trouble irrigating, with distant electricity supplies still a bit irregular. The project will also save the state exchequer a good deal of money. Women empowerment has been taken through the route of education. The government plans to distribute Rs 1,200 crore worth of tablets to girl students. Helping this project will be another, through which Rs 100 crore will be set aside for ensuring proper nutrition to girls as well as Rs 32 crore for setting up Mahila Shakti Kendras.
The size of the Budget is Rs 5.50 lakh crore.