The Uttar Pradesh government tabled its annual budget for the financial year 2023-24 in the assembly on Wednesday. As the state finance minister Suresh Khanna read out his budget speech, the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who was sitting right next to him could not stop smiling. The budget turned out to be a reflection of the vision, policies, and schemes of the former Gorakhpur MP, who emerged as one of the strongest leaders in India with his second consecutive stint as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Riding high on the success of the recently concluded UP Global Investors Summit, where UP got investment worth Rs 33.5 lakh crore which was more than double the target, Yogi Adityanath’s budget not only spoke of inclusive development but also looked at incorporating technology at every step and in every sector in the state’s journey towards becoming a USD One trillion economy.
Presenting the budget, finance minister Suresh Khanna said that there has been a 16.8 percent increase in state GDP in the year 2022-23. The GSDP growth has been estimated at 19 percent for 2023-24, which is remarkable for a state that once was a regular in the Bimaru list.
For 2022-23, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Uttar Pradesh was forecast to be Rs 20,48,234 crore, which is 17.1 percent higher than the revised estimate of GSDP for 2021-22 – Rs 17,49,469 crore).
Farmers, women, minorities, students, youth, industries, MSMEs, startups… everyone got their fair share in the UP budget. While for agriculture, stress was laid upon using technology to upgrade the farmers, the state also proposed a data bank for the farmer’s database. Focus was also on natural and sustainable farming and increasing the income of the farmers, making it a farmer-friendly budget.
For women too, the Yogi Adityanath budget was a basket that was overfilling with gifts. From grants for education to well-being to marriage and even destitute women, the budget had it all. Clearly, the BJP has its eyes set on the fairer vote bank as this budget comes ahead of the 2024 General Elections, and UP as the biggest state sends 80 elected members to the parliament.
Employment generation too was in focus in the budget.
While the UPGIS has already opened doors for 92.50 lakh new employment opportunities, the budget too saw a focus on self-employment, skill development, and self-reliance. Khanna in his speech clearly marked, “The state’s unemployment rate before 2017 was 14.4% which has now reduced to about 4.2%, which is a huge achievement,” said the minister.
21 airports in all including 16 domestic airports and metros across several cities in UP were also indicative of what the state’s transport system would look like in days to come. The budget also highlighted Ropeway of Varanasi, which is the first in any Indian city and takes UP much ahead of many other states in terms of development index.
The industry faces of UP welcomed the budget with open arms. They believe that the budget provisions announced by UP Finance Minister Suresh Khanna have the potential to significantly benefit the textile industry and promote sustainable development in the state. The UP Textile and Garmenting Policy 2022, with its provision of Rs 150 crore, will attract investment in the textile sector and create employment opportunities for youth.
The provision of Rs 345 crore for providing concessional rates for electricity to power-loom weavers will also aid in the growth of the industry. Additionally, the emphasis on increasing forest and tree cover in the state through various schemes will promote sustainable development and benefit the environment.
The proposed budget provisions for agriculture education and research, including the Agritech startup scheme and infrastructure, and work in agricultural universities, will also play a vital role in increasing the income of farmers and promoting agricultural development in the state. Overall, these budget provisions have the potential to promote economic growth and sustainable development in Uttar Pradesh."