No new taxes in ‘populist' UP budget

With its eye on next year's State Assembly elections, the Mayawati Government's annual Budget for 2011-12 presented by Finance and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma in the Vidhan Sabha accords high priority to the basic needs and aspirations of Dalits and other deprived sections of society.

The Rs.169416.38-crore budget, whose size is 10.6 per cent more than in 2010-11, is tax-free and populist in nature given the provision of Rs.10,084 crore made for the welfare of weaker sections of society under the social security schemes.

According to Mr. Verma, no new taxes have been proposed, but the fiscal deficit of an estimated Rs.18,959 crore in 2011-12 left scope for taxation.

The fiscal deficit in 2011-12 is 2.97 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product. The fiscal deficit had been brought down from 4.4 per cent of the GSDP in 2010-11 to the estimated 3.9 per cent in the end of 2010-11 financial year through increase in the State income and simultaneously curbing expenditure, he said.

The State's income showed an increase of 17 to 18 per cent from Rs.1,11,629 crore in 2010-11 to the estimated Rs.1,31,428 crore in 2011-12.

Among the important budget announcements were an increase in the amount of subsidy from Rs.6,000 to Rs.10,000 under the free boring scheme for small and marginal farmers belonging to the Scheduled Castes. Besides, the monthly assistance amount under the Uttar Pradesh Mukhyamantri Mahamaya Garib Arthik Madad Yojana from Below Poverty Line families went up from Rs.300 to 400 in 2011-12.

Budgetary allocation for the social infrastructure sector (education and health) shows a massive increase of 19.6 per cent over the provision in the 2010-11 budget.

Interestingly, a provision of Rs.122 crore has been made in the budget for “maintenance and upkeep of memorials, museums, institutions and parks”. It has also been proposed to build 50,000 houses under the Manyavar Sri Kanshi Ram Shahri Garib Awas Yojana for the urban poor, including destitute widows, disabled persons and people living below the poverty line.

An arrangement of Rs.675 crore has been made for this purpose.

A provision of Rs.4496 crore has been made for the agriculture and allied sectors in 2011-12, which is about 9 per cent more than the budget for 2010-11. This includes the target of producing 538.25 lakh million tonnes foodgrains and 14.36 lakh million tonne oilseeds.

Describing the budget as “pro-people”, the Finance Minister told reporters after presenting the annual financial statement that it would look after the needs of the common man. Mr. Verma said the budget aimed at uplift of the social sector and the hike in allocations under different heads justified the government's concern for the common man.

 

Last Update Sunday 13th February 2011     

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