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Union Budget: Modi's return gift to UP

Expectations were sky-high and he did deliver!

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Arun Jaitley, Narendra Modi

Much before the FIFA World Cup fever, had scored landslide victory in the Lok Sabha polls arena notching 282 seats out of total 543 for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). He was later sworn in as India’s Prime Minister.

The unprecedented success was on account of the stupendous show of BJP – riding on the ‘Modi wave’ – in Uttar Pradesh, where it won 71 out of 80 seats. BJP's ally won two more seats, making it 73 for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the state.

Modi had contested the polls from two constituencies ,and Vadodara, winning both by huge margins. As expected, he retained the seat.

Since Modi represents Varanasi, the people of Uttar Pradesh (UP) had much higher expectations of largesse for the state in his maiden Union Budget 2014-15.

Although, the Budget is only for the remaining eight months of the current fiscal , August-March 2014, has had a fair share in the various budgetary announcements and proposals.

Some proposals are specifically for UP, but the state stands to gain handsomely in announcements which are rather generic in nature, given its size and stakeholding in those segments.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced Rs 100 crore for Lucknow and Ahmedabad Metro rail projects. Lucknow Metro project has started to roll out with the state government incorporating Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) and roping in 'metro man' E Sreedharan as principal advisor.

Besides, an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) centre has been proposed to be set in the backward Poorvanchal region (eastern UP) with the allocation of Rs 500 crore for four such institutes in the country.

Three clusters have been proposed to be set up in Varanasi, Lucknow and Bareilly. The government plans to spend Rs 200 crore on the scheme, which would set up similar units at other places as well.

Inland waterway navigation has been proposed between Allahabad and Haldia with an investment of Rs 4,200 crore.

The ‘ghats’ in Varanasi, Allahabad and Kanpur are all set to be spruced up and Mathura, a prominent religious and tourist centre, could expect better amenities.

Meanwhile, the proposals to set up Smart Cities and new airports would surely benefit UP given its mammoth geography and large number of emerging towns.

The outlay for agriculture, irrigation, and education would also flow to UP since it is not only the most populated state but also the most backward in terms of socio-economic indicators.

The setting up of Rs 10,000 crore fund for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) would benefit UP as it is home to over 3 million MSMEs, who are in dire need of working capital, venture capital, technological support and skilled manpower.

First Published: Sun, July 13 2014. 20:50 IST