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UP assembly budget session begins today
May, 28th 2012

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in an all party meeting convened at his official residence on Sunday said the party's elected representatives would lay emphasis on taking up issues of public interest during the budget session. The budget session of UP assembly will begin on Monday. On June 1, the Samajwadi Party government will present its maiden budget.

Addressing a gathering of the state's cabinet ministers, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey and opposition party leaders Hukum Singh and Pramod Tiwari among others, Akhilesh also said matters where opposition parties want longer and detailed debates will be considered. He added that an effort will be made to give each elected representative a chance to voice their opinions during the assembly session. Effort will be made to ensure the proceedings are carried out peacefully.

On Monday, Governor BL Joshi will address the joint session of both the Houses. During the three-week session, the budget document is expected to throw light on how well SP manages the government funds in the face of party's election promises.

In the wake of the liquidity crunch that plagues the state, some of the key components of the state budget will include pushing through a proposal for unemployment allowance of about Rs 1,100 crore, apart from Rs 2,900 crore towards free tablet personal computers to 26 lakh students and free laptops to around 20 lakh students clearing class XII. To meet its electoral promises across sectors, the SP budget is expected to incur Rs 15,000 crore. In the education sector, the state budget will also set aside an amount that allows free education to all graduate women students. Free education will also be made available for students whose families have an annual income of less than Rs 5 lakh and are admitted to institutes of higher and technical education.

The budget is also expected to clarify how the SP government will tackle Rs 4000 crore losses accruing as a result of high Value Added Tax rates in the state. The overall plan size, which is expected to touch Rs 57,000 crore, could have a fiscal deficit component of Rs 980 crore in the current financial year. In order to ensure the state's fiscal deficit does not exceed Rs 20,000 crore, the government could also scrap some of the existing schemes in order to direct those funds into fulfilling existing poll promises.

The Samajwadi Party is also expected to take up the cause of free electricity supply to farmers and weavers -- costing Rs 4,000 crore -- apart from an additional Rs 700 crore expenditure for grants-in-aid for Muslim girls studying beyond class 10.

On the agriculture front, the government has promised remunerative prices of 50% over production cost to farmers, apart from promising to procure major crops from them. The budget is also expected to waive farmers' debts up to Rs 50,000 and offer farm loans at 1%.

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