Niti Aayog Counters Akhilesh with Budget Allocation Data
New Delhi: Rebuffing comments by the Uttar Pradesh chief minister that the Union Budget was disappointing for the pollbound state, Niti Aayog has put together data to show how UP has benefited from budgetary allocations. According to Finance Commission’s recommendations, transfers as a percentage to non-plan budget have increased from 42% in FY2015 to 54% in FY2017, the Centre’s think-tank has pointed out while blaming the Akhilesh Yadav-led state government for lack of proactive action to avail all the funds offered under different schemes.
Niti Aayog has listed the amount available for UP under different schemes and their utilisation, showing poor drawdown in many cases. It also said projects worth more than ₹ 1.6 lakh crore are in the pipeline or have been completed in UP in the past twoand-a-half years after the NDA government came to power.
A fact sheet compiled by Niti Aayog shows tax devolution to UP increasing from ₹ 68,639.74 crore in FY2015 to Rs 1,02,649.91 crore in FY2017 out of which ₹ 83,427.69 crore has been released till February 1, 2017. Akhilesh Yadav, in a comment after the Budget on February 1, had said: “As chief minister of UP, I think it is deeply ironic that the state that sends the prime minister, defence minister, home minister and 73 MPs of the ruling NDA to the Lok Sabha, has once again been disappointed by the Union Budget. This was, however, expected this year, since the Election Commission had already asked government of India on January 23 to not make specific announcements for states going to election to, quite rightly, provide a level playing field at the polls.” UP goes to the polls from February 11.
On Yadav’s charges that the Centre was unable to name any large project it has flagged off in UP since 2014, Niti Aayog listed several railway and highway projects to rebuff the criticism.
“In Uttar Pradesh, since May 2014, Indian Railways has opened new line of 146 km, 214 km of broad gauge and 439 km of total bro-
ad gauge track. In 2015-16, in UP, six railway stations have been completed with the electrification work and 2,026 km railway line work in progress with estimated cost of ₹ 3,743 crore. A dedicated freight corridor has been allotted with the cost of ₹ 14,877 crore,” the fact sheet showed.
According to Niti Aayog, ₹ 7,826 crore has been allotted to works in UP for road transport including ₹ 635 crore for NH-24 B (four laning of Lucknow-Raebareli stretch), ₹ 1,267 crore for NH 24 (four laning of Moradabad-Raebareli stretch) and ₹ 201.66 crore for NH 25 elevated structure.