Annual plan for Uttar Pradesh would go up by over 20% compared to average of about 10% in the last five financial years even as the Samajwadi Party and the Centre are cosying up to each other.
SP’s support had enabled the UPA to clinch the Presidential race in its favour recently.
In yet another politically significant gesture, the plan also includes financial support for free laptop scheme, which was a key election promise of the incumbent SP government in UP. In addition, the Centre would be extenting the Bundelkhand financial package for another three years after a review later this month.
The Centre also approved construction of 3.86 lakh homes for rural poor, Rs. 500 crore for piped water supply, Rs. 922 crore for capitalization of gramin (village) banks and additional allocation of three lakh tones of urea. The Centre is also looking at a possibility of funding for recharge of ground water in 108 drought hit blocks and Rs. 1,100 crore for rural roads.
According to senior government officials, the Centre is willing to help the state in improving the road, electricity distribution and education infrastructure. It wants the state government to adopt revamped Unique Identification Number enabled Public Distribution System (PDS), for which the Central government will provide resources.
A blue-print of what the state government will get was decided at a meeting between principal secretary to PM, Pulak Chatterjee and UP chief secretary Javed Usmani, in which secretaries of all key Central ministries participated.
The over three hour long meeting had quick decisions with the Centre agreeing to fund some aspects of the Rs. 90,000 crore package demanded by UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav immediately and others in coming financial years. “No such meeting where decisions were taken so fast had taken at a PMO regarding UP in the last decade,” said a senior planning commission official Different ministries have been asked to finalise the plans with the UP government in the coming weeks. Thereafter, a meeting between panel’s deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Yadav is expected once the Presidential elections get over on July 25, sources said.
On the other hand, the Central government’s largesse to West Bengal is expected to end after state chief minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee refused to back Mukherjee. “The state government has got additional funding…it is time for them to show results,” a senior government functionary said.