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To be presented by the Yogi Adityanath government next month, Uttar Pradesh's (UP's) annual Budget 2018-19 is likely to hit the Rs 4.25-trillion mark and give the state's infrastructure sector a boost.
This would be a hike of less than 11 per cent over the previous annual Budget, which stood at Rs 3.84 trillion. The government will table the next financial year's budgetary proposals in the UP legislature during the Budget session commencing February 8.
Since the Budget will be presented in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, it is expected to be populist with liberal finances for the agriculture, infrastructure, and social sectors in order to keep the electorate in good humour.
During election years, the UP Budget has posted steep hikes of over 15 per cent and occasionally breached the 18-per cent mark, compared to non-election financial years, when the average increase has been below 11 per cent (See table).
Since the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dispensation will be preparing for the crucial parliamentary elections next year, the Budget will serve as a vital tool for course correction with regard to providing succour to the common man.
According to sources, the Adityanath government will make an adequate budgetary allocation for the Purvanchal Expressway mega infrastructure project, which is estimated to cost over Rs 200 billion. Besides, another Bundelkhand Expressway has also been proposed.
At the same time, the government will allocate funds for the proposed metro rail projects in Kanpur, Meerut, and Agra. The three projects are collectively estimated to cost nearly Rs 470 billion, including the Centre's share, and become operational by 2024. On January 17, the Adityanath Cabinet had approved the respective detailed project reports of the three metro lines.
Besides, there are other road projects to link important business and tourism centres with big towns to boost socio-economic activities in their periphery and create jobs.
In its maiden Budget, the Adityanath government had provided funds for the flagship crop loan waiver scheme of Rs 360 billion. Due to this heavy payout and in the absence of any central dole, the state had to compromise on other welfare and development schemes.
The coming Budget will provide the state government leeway to allocate funds for various sectors and prepare the groundwork for the next Lok Sabha polls when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek re-election. In 2014, BJP and its ally Apna Dal had won 73 of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP.
UP annual Budget chart
|Sl no||Financial year||Annual Budget (approx)||Percentage increase|
|1||2010-11||Rs 1.53 trillion||14.67|
|2||2011-12||Rs 1.69 trillion||10.60|
|3||2012-13||Rs 2.00 trillion||18.14|
|4||2013-14||Rs 2.21 trillion||10.50|
|5||2014-15||Rs 2.59 trillion||18.00|
|6||2015-16||Rs 3.02 trillion||10.20|
|7||2016-17||Rs 3.46 trillion||16.60|
|8||2017-18||Rs 3.84 trillion||11.00|
Compiled by Virendra Singh Rawat