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UP passes supplementary budget for unemployment allowance

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, May 15 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly today cleared the first supplementary budget for 2006-07, making for the much-hyped unemployment allowance announced by chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Mr Yadav, who is also the state finance minister, had tabled the supplementary budget in the assembly on Friday.

The supplementary budget is to the tune of Rs 1629.51 crore.

Among the financial demands sought, Rs 400 crore is for paying unemployment allowance to post-graduate and graduate youth of the state. Another Rs 300 crore has been earmarked for giving power subsidy to weavers to run power looms.

During his Budget speech in February, Mr Yadav had announced providing Rs 500 per month unemployment allowance to unemployed youth who were registered at the employment exchange till December, 2005. The cut off date was later increased to expand the number of beneficiaries.

A couple of years ago, Mr Yadav had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding funds to give unemployment allowance. But, the demand was rejected by the Centre as there was no provision to provide funds for unemployment allowances announced by states.

The Opposition had targetted UP government inside and outside the state legislature for announcing the allowance as ''a poor state like UP had little money to fund such schemes.'' The Opposition BJP and Congress attacked the Mulayam government for merely announcing schemes which never stood ground. ''UP has announced reducing the price of registration at government hospitals to Rs 1 Funds were also released for the purpose. But, I still see patients suffering,'' alleged Hukum Singh (BJP).

Jagdambika Pal (Cong) claimed the much-hyped Bhoomi Sena is seen nowhere in action and officials of his home district of Basti admitted it was not active in many places.

In his reply, state parliamentary affairs minister Mohd Azam Khan said the government had achieved, which the various regimes could not in several years. ''We were the ones who understood the agony of the unemployed. We reduced hospital registration fee to Rs 1...we have fulfilled our promises,'' he said.

UNI NAB LS BST1731

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