Populist announcements likely in second supplementary budget of Uttar Pradesh
The Uttar Pradesh government is set to make some populist announcements for different sections in the state assembly during the current winter session as it presents the second supplementary budget for 2021-22 and an interim budget (vote on account for the first few months) for 2022-23, ahead of the 2022 UP assembly elections.
The state government has announced an increase in the honorarium for panchayat functionaries, including village pradhans, district and block panchayat presidents and may make more such announcements.
Finance minister Suresh Khanna will present the Uttar Pradesh government’s second supplementary budget for 2021-2022 and the interim budget, a vote on account for first few months of 2022-2023 in the presence of chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
“Yes, the state government may come out with some announcements about farmers and others as it presents the second supplementary demands of grants for 2021-2022 and a vote on account for a part of 2022-23 in the state assembly,” said a senior officer.
“The state government may get the nod of the state legislature for the new schemes in the supplementary budget and funds may be transferred to the beneficiaries under the direct benefit transfer scheme,” the officer added.
“This is the last budgetary exercise before the assembly elections are formally announced. The state government is expected to seek approval to populist schemes, including a likely increase in honorarium of village pradhans in the state. The other sections of the society, including farmers, may also be benefitted by the government’s largesse. Despite two supplementary budgets, the state government’s total expenditure in 2021-22 may fall short of the original budgetary estimates of ₹5.50 lakh crore for the year,” said Professor Yashvir Tyagi, former head of department of economics, Lucknow University.
This is not the first time that the state government will present a supplementary budget and an interim budget in the last session of the state assembly. As chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav had also presented supplementary demands and an interim budget in the last session of state assembly ahead of the 2017 polls. The opposition is questioning the state government for bringing out the second supplementary budget for 2021-22.
“The state government has not been able to use the funds already allocated to different departments in the annual budget for 2021-2022. So, there is no point in presenting the second supplementary budget,” said Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra.
“The Yogi Adityanath government is implementing development projects at a faster pace and schemes have been launched for the welfare of the people. The state government allocates funds for these projects and schemes. There is nothing new as the state governments in the past, too, have presented supplementary budgets and interim budgets ahead of polls,” said Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesman Avnish Tyagi.
The state government had on August 18, 2021 presented the first supplementary budget of ₹7301.52 crore for 2021-22 to provide large or even token sums for various schemes. These included a scheme to make the youths digitally proficient, pay increased honorarium to different categories of workers such as shiksha mitras, anganwadi workers and village chowkidars, clear dues of farmers and provide funds for the welfare of cows. It allocated additional sums for some of the ongoing projects too. The state government had presented its largest ever annual budget in size for ₹5,50,270.78 crore on February 22, 2021 despite constraints of the adverse impact that Covid-19 has had on the UP economy.
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