While no new big-ticket infrastructure project was announced by the UP government on Monday, this year’s Budget saw a continued push for completing and expanding the existing projects with a capital expenditure of Rs 2.04 lakh crore or 21 per cent of the total expenses.
“When money is spent on infrastructure, it will generate employment and strengthen the economy,” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said at a press conference after the Budget was presented.
Adityanath said that with the state becoming a “revenue surplus state” in the past seven years by “curbs on tax theft, bringing in reforms and stopping revenue leakages”, his government has been able to maintain fiscal discipline by keeping the fiscal deficit at 3.46% — below the 3.5% limit mandated by the FRBM Act.
Among the key spendings provisioned in the Budget are Rs 7,350 crore for National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Rs 964 crore for setting up 14 new medical colleges,
Rs 500 crore for a new “Link Expressway” connecting Agra-Lucknow Expressway with the Purvanchal Expressway. Rs 2,057.76 crore has been proposed for the Ganga Expressway project, which is more than double as compared to the current fiscal year, Khanna said in the Budget speech.
Besides, Rs 2,881 crore provision has been made for widening or strengthening of state highways, and Rs 1,750 for the development of ‘dharmarthmargs’ — the roads leading to religious places.
Also, the Budget has an outlay of Rs 1,500 crore for building rural bridges, and to address the issue of traffic congestion in cities and towns, a provision of Rs 1,000 crore has been proposed for the construction of flyovers and similar infrastructure in urban areas.
In the Budget, a provision of Rs 1,100 crore has been made for the construction, expansion, and strengthening of airstrips as well as land acquisition.
“Bundelkhand Industrial Development Authority (BIDA) is being formed, under which there is a plan to develop industrial, commercial, and residential townships in the Bundelkhand region on the lines of Noida and Greater Noida… Significant progress is underway in the Defence Corridor in the state, with the allocation of three out of six nodes of the Defence Corridor completed. To attract investment of FDI, Fortune Global 500 and Fortune India 500 companies in the state, the ‘Foreign Direct Investment and Fortune 500 Companies Investment Promotion Policy 2023’ has been announced. A provision of Rs. 250 crore proposed for the implementation of this policy,” the Finance Minister said.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission Yojana, a provision of Rs 952 crore has been proposed for the setting up of health and wellness centres, and integrated public health labs in rural and urban areas. Also, Rs 300 crore has been proposed for Ayushman Bharat Mukhyamantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan. The Budget has also proposed Rs 400 crore for the establishment of a medical college in Varanasi district, Rs 125 crore to provide free medical facilities for incurable diseases, and Rs 300 crore for upgrading trauma centres.