Tax free deficit Budget for Uttar Pradesh

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{image-Tax exemption_12022008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Lucknow, Feb 12: The Bahujan Samaj Party government in Uttar Pradesh today presented a Rs 112472.72 crore, tax free deficit budget amid a noisy boycott by the opposition parties.

Newly-appointed state Finance minister Lalji Verma presented the budget in the presence of Chief Minister Mayawati even as opposition parties staged a walkout. The government also took a Vote on Account for April and May, 2008. Former Chief Minister and now Leader of the Opposition Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) termed the Vote on Account "ncorrect". The size of the Budget has been pegged at Rs 112472.72 crore, which is 11 per cent more than the previous budget presented on June 29, 2007. The expected income has been pegged at Rs 110827.87 crore. Like previous occasions, no new taxes have been imposed.

As soon as Finance minister Lalji Verma rose to present the budget, the principal Opposition Samajwadi Party members started shouting slogans against the Governor's address to the joint legislature on February 8. Leader of the Opposition Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that the Governor's address was factually incorrect as the state was facing a major law and order crisis. Speaker Sukhdev Rajbhar requested the members to first let the treasury present the Budget. But the opposition members staged a walk out. The BJP members too walked out of the proceedings, but in a relatively peaceful manner as compared to the SP members.

Later, talking to reporters outside the House, Mr Yadav charged the Speaker with working under government pressure. ''I was not allowed to put my views across...it is a violation of the Constitution as I am the leader of the Opposition,'' he said. Losses in the Budget have been put at Rs 1644.85 crore. The Budget has earmarked Rs 12801 crore for 212 new projects for the development of the state. The earmarked amount is 44 per cent more than the last budget.

During the 11th Five Year Plan, the UP government proposes to generate 1.25 crore employments and increase the literacy rate to 85 per cent.
The government also proposes to decrease the gender gap from the present 26.6 per cent to 10 per cent during the 11th five year plan. Similarly, the government also plans to reduce the infant mortality rate from the present 73 per thousand to 36 per thousand. The drought-hit Bundelkhand region of the state, which has witnessed hectic political activity in the last one month, has received major funding from the government in the budget. The government has made arrangements of Rs 300 crore to forego interests on borrwings by small and marginal farmers. A sum of Rs 100 crore have already been provided in the budget.

In Banda district of the region, a new Baba Sahib Bhim Rao medical university is expected to come up. In Jhansi, a para medical training college has been proposed. The two projects would cost Rs 350 crore. Another Rs 100 crore have been earmarked for an agricultural university in the parched region. The government, in the next fiscal, also proposes to open as many as 4000 new primary schools and recruit 3,700 teachers for madrasas in the primary and upper primary level.

On the law and order front, the government has earmarked Rs 286 crore for police modernisation. The power sector has received Rs 10330 crore, which is 12 per cent more than the last budgetary allocations. While Rs 2341 crore have been kept aside for laying and repair of transmission lines, Rs 3906 crore have been kept for new projects in the power sector. For the fiscal 2008-09, the UP government has pegged the crop production target at 467 lakh MT -- 172 lakh MT for kharif season and 325 lakh MT for rabi season. Besides, the target for oil seed production has been kept at 12 lakh MT.

UNI

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