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Funding poll promises, schemes to be Yogi govt’s biggest challenge

The BJP government, which has announced loan waiver up to Rs 1 lakh each for small and marginal farmers, faces the major challenge of providing funds in the annual budget for 2017-2018 to implement its election promises.

lucknow Updated: Apr 16, 2017 12:58 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
UP budget
BJP president Amit Shah releasing party manifesto before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in Lucknow on January 28, 2017.(File Photo)

The Yogi Adityanath government, which has announced loan waiver up to Rs 1 lakh each for small and marginal farmers, faces the major challenge of providing funds in the annual budget for 2017-2018 to implement the BJP’s poll promises. The state assembly’s budget session is expected to be convened soon. 

The BJP’s 23-page Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra-2017 contains over 200 promises. The Yogi Adityanath government has already circulated the document to all the officers — additional chief secretaries/principal secretaries and secretaries — to identify promises with respect to their departments. 

“Keeping in view government’s priorities for the annual budget for 2017-2018, send your proposals duly approved by departmental minister/chief minister proposals by April 30, 2017,” said secretary, finance, Mukesh Mittal in a letter dated April 10, 2017. The letter was sent to all the senior officers heading different departments. 

The chief minister has already given indications about priorities of his government and some of the schemes of previous Samajwadi Party-led regime are either being tweaked or scrapped to pave way for the new ones. Besides deleting ‘Samajwadi’ from the names of schemes launched during the SP regime, the Yogi Adityanath government will like to launch many new schemes to implement the BJP’s poll promises.

The major challenge will be to provide funds not only for the nearly Rs 36,359 crore loan waiver, but also for new schemes and other committed expenditure.

The state cabinet has already decided to float ‘Kisan Rahat Bonds’ to mobilise additional funds for the loan waiver. Another major challenge will be to provide an additional sum of about Rs 28,000 crore to meet the expenditure on implementing the seventh pay commission recommendations. This includes Rs 18,000 crore needed to meet expenditure on increased salaries and pension and Rs 10,000 crore to clear arrears to be paid to employees in 2017-18. 

With the Yogi Adityanath government working in coordination with the Narendra Modi government, there are hopes of the state getting sufficient central funds to implement the centrally sponsored schemes. Officers have been asked to find out the allocations that the centre may make and arrange a matching state government share in the annual budget.

“As the union government has already presented its annual budget for 2017-18, the respective administrative departments should know the central share to be given to the state for centrally sponsored schemes,” said additional chief secretary Anoop Chandra Pandey in his letter on March 23, 2017. 

Pandey has also informed officers that proposals to be incorporated in the annual budget should be made in ‘lakhs of rupees’ instead of ‘thousand rupees’ in 2017-2018. This will be the first annual budget in which the state government will make proposals in lakhs of rupees. A senior officer said the state government had prepared the vote on account (first five months of 2017-2018) presented before 2017 assembly elections in lakhs of rupees. This will be the first full-fledged budget with the estimates being made in lakhs, said the officer.

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