Uttar Pradesh asks centre for extra Rs38,000 crore aid
The request comes after NITI Aayog’s Health Index report showed that Uttar Predesh had made little progress in improving healthcare in the past three years
New Delhi: The central government is examining a request from Uttar Pradesh for an extra Rs38,000 crore in assistance as India’s most populous state seeks to step up public spending for various schemes.
In a half-a-day-long meeting with policy think tank NITI Aayog on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh health minister Sidharth Nath Singh sought the additional funds saying his government was looking at improving the state’s overall performance.
The request comes after NITI Aayog’s Health Index report titled Healthy States, Progressive India showed that Uttar Pradesh had made little progress in improving healthcare in the past three years. Uttar Pradesh was the poorest performing state in 2015-16, according to the report.
Discussions at the meeting revolved around funds needed for sectors such as health, agriculture, energy, finance, women and child development and human resource development.
Singh urged more than 18 central government departments to release funds for various Uttar Pradesh development projects.
It was highlighted during the meeting that Uttar Pradesh had an unspent budget under various departments for some long- pending projects. “Several departments in the Uttar Pradesh government haven’t submitted the utilization certificates of the expenditure. This has majorly impacted the allocation of funds. We are trying to solve these problems as soon as possible,” Singh said.
“We have asked for more funds from the centre through NITI Aayog to improve the overall condition of the state. We have asked various government departments to remove the anomalies and work in the direction as given by NITI Aayog so that Uttar Pradesh can further witness development,” he said.
The minister held discussions with departments such as health and family welfare, urban development, human resources development, rural development, social justice and employment, minorities welfare, women and child development, agriculture and farmers’ welfare, drinking water and sanitation, food supplies and consumer welfare, home, youth welfare and sports, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and export promotion.
As healthcare has been a major concern for Uttar Pradesh, the government has asked for more funds for upgrading district hospitals, medical equipment, immunization, family welfare and vector-borne diseases.
Housing was also on the agenda at the meeting. “Uttar Pradesh is progressing and schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) under which over 5.7 million houses are being constructed has the potential to transform the villages in the state. There needs to be focus on areas within Uttar Pradesh such as Bundelkhand,” said Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman of NITI Aayog.
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