Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday set aside Rs 500 crore for an airport in Ayodhya, Rs 85 crore for the city’s tourism development as well as Rs 200 crore for the beautification of Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath temple in the state’s budget presented in the Assembly.
The budget, which also announced big road and metro rail projects, was slammed by the Opposition as a “farce,” for not allocating enough for farmers and youth.
The Budget was presented by Finance Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna, which also provided Rs 2,000 crore for the new airport project at Jewar near Delhi.
The Kanpur Metro Rail Project gets Rs 358 crore and Rs 286 crore has been allocated for the metro rail in Agra. It has earmarked Rs 200 crore more for metro rail projects in Gorakhpur and other cities.
The 2020-21 Budget sets a target for the construction of four lakh houses for the weaker sections within a year and lists schemes to help the youth to make a living.
Addressing reporters later, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called the Budget – the fourth presented by his government – “historic”, “growth-oriented” and “people-friendly”.
Opposition parties, however, termed it “directionless” and a “farce”.
Among the major allocations is Rs 500 crore for an airport at Ayodhya, where the construction of a Ram temple is expected to begin in the next few months. In addition, the state government will spend Rs 85 crore for the development of the pilgrim city as a tourist spot. Another Rs 10 crore will go on the renovation of the Tulsi Smarak Bhawan, dedicated to the author of Ramcharitmanas.
The Budget allocates Rs 200 crore for the expansion and beautification of Kashi Vishwanath temple in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Varanasi constituency. Another Rs 180 crore will go on setting up a cultural centre in the holy city.
The government announced two new schemes to provide employment for the youth -- the Chief Minister's Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (CMAPS) and the Yuva Udhyamita Vikas Abhiyan (YUVA).
The Budget estimates total receipts of 5,00,558 crore -- Rs 4,22,567 crore through revenue and Rs 77,990 crore through capital receipts. It estimates a deficit of Rs 12,302 crore.
Opposition parties, however, slammed the exercise.
"The government is betraying all sections -- be they youth, farmers or women. The BJP says it wants to make the state a trillion-dollar economy but it is not saying from where the investment will come," Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav told reporters.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati called it a “farce”. “The promises and claims made in the Budget appear hollow and are only on paper,” she said.
UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu said the Budget was "directionless" and a mere "jugglery of figures".
"The Budget has nothing for the youth, farmers, women and the poor," he said.