Yogi Adityanath waives off farm loans of INR 360 bn

How pious is Yogi’s inclusive rural development plans?

Business & Politics

July 12, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

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Several controversial cases involving Yogi are resurfacing in the media

Several controversial cases involving Yogi are resurfacing in the media

While India’s farmer suicide stories don’t make headlines too often, the Chief Minister of Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath’s first budget has already grabbed eyeballs of the country and beyond. Keeping his electoral promises in mind, the UP CM announced a farm loan waiver of INR 360 billion.

Targeting a 10 pc growth rate in the state in his term of five years as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath’s budget presentation allegedly aims at reforming the rural infrastructure of the state. Keeping the eastern parts of the state (Purvanchal and Bundelkhand) that have always been drought-prone, the UP CM announced his budget maintaining his focus on the constituencies that supported the BJP-led government clinch the power after 15 years.

Adding to his farm waiver stance in the budget, Adityanath said in his speech that this was the biggest budget for Uttar Pradesh and the government is looking to plug leakages to cut down the unnecessary expenditure. The government is also discontinuing funds for some of the welfare and freebie schemes rolled out by the previous government to accommodate the loan waiver.

Quite contrary to the farmer-empathising stand of the UP government, there were five instances of farmer suicides reported in Uttar Pradesh last month – two from Kanpur district, one each in Mahoba, Banda, and Kaushambhi according to the media reports. However, Adityanath had announced the loan waiver way back in April as the ambiguity on waiver scheme still remains on whether the loans by government institutions or private money lenders are covered by the scheme. According to a report published by The Wire, information from states such as Punjab which have witnessed a high number of suicides in 2016-17, or Odisha where the matter of farmer suicides has been a big public debate for months now, or Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh etc., which are usually on the list of largest farm suicide States, is not available from any reliable source.

Focus on Hindu trails

Resonating the schemes rolled out by the Modi-led NDA government in the centre, the latest budget presented by the Adityanath government has observed special focus on developing the Ramayana tourist circuit in Ayodhya, Buddhist Circuit in Sarnath and Krishna Circuit in Mathura. The UP government proposed an allocation of nearly INR 12.4 billion in the Swadesh Darshan Yojana. Additional INR 8 billion is allocated to develop Ayodhya, Mathura, and Varanasi as centres introducing river cruises between each other in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Prasad Scheme.

Development schemes for students, free education to girls till graduation and free WiFi facilities in universities and colleges were also given due importance with an allocated budget of INR 6 billion. Some of the other projects that Yogi Adityanath is aiming at would be the metro rail project, the sugarcane research centre and an AIIMS in Gorakhpur.

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