Lucknow, Feb 4 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government will be presenting its largest-ever annual budget (2024-2025) of a size of over Rs 7 lakh crore in the state legislature during the budget session here on Monday.
There are indications that the annual budget will have larger allocations for development of infrastructure.
There will be an increase in allocations to capital expenditure and some ongoing projects.
There may also be certain populist announcements that the state government may make ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“The Yogi Adityanath government has always presented a progressive budget in accordance with the aspirations of the people over the years. The state government has taken care of development of infrastructure and public welfare and maintained a strict financial discipline. We have taken initiatives to curtail wasteful expenditure,” said Parliamentary Affairs and Finance Minister Suresh Khanna.
However, Khanna remained tight-lipped about the size of the annual budget. He, however, said there will be an increase in allocations.
The state government had presented an annual budget of Rs 6.90 lakh crore for 2023-2024. This included allocations of Rs 1.87 lakh crore for the capital expenditure. It presented its first supplementary budget of Rs 28,760.67 crore for 2023-2024 making key demands in different sectors with focus on power and funding populist announcements including demand of additional funds for free power supply to farmers (private tubewells).
With an increase in allocations under the capital expenditure head, the size of the annual budget is bound to go up in the range of Rs 7 lakh crore to Rs 7.50 lakh crore this time. There are likely to be more allocations/announcements for the farmers and the youths.
An increase may also be announced in the pension for destitute women and divyangs from Rs 1000 per month to Rs 1500 per month to benefit nearly 93 lakh beneficiaries in these categories in the state.
As Ayodhya and other religious places have been in focus, the state government may use the occasion to allocate more funds for development of tourism and pilgrimage cities.
The forthcoming Lok Sabha elections are bound to influence the focus and direction of the Uttar Pradesh government’s budget for 2024-25. The budget is likely to focus on infrastructure and give priority to developing and augmenting tourist facilities specially in religious places as tourism has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth in the state.
The budget may also include some populist measures related to youths, farmers, poor and women. This budget would also highlight the progress and the steps taken to make UP a “one trillion-dollar economy”.