As lakhs of girls seek benefits, UP budget allocation set to overshoot

The Akhilesh Yadav government is flooded with applications under its three populist schemes for giving financial assistance of Rs 30,000 to girls. If money is paid to all, the government will have to shell out not less than Rs 3,692.00 crore while the budgetary allocation is only Rs 1,294 crore.

This exceeds even the budgetary provision for the scheme to provide free laptops and tablets to school students, which is the maximum for any populist scheme of the government, at Rs 2,721.24 crore.

The schemes under which the cash doles are given to girls are named Kanya Vidya Dhan Yojana, Hamari Beti Uska Kal and Padhey Betiyan, Badhey Betiyan. Already, there have been allegations of arbitrariness in the selection of beneficiaries. Earlier this month, there were protests in several parts of the state by girls alleging pick-and-choose in selection of beneficiaries for Kanya Vidya Dhan and Hamari Beti, Uska Kal.

On December 10, while Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was distributing cheques in Rampur, hundreds of protesting girls were detained by police to prevent them from proceeding to the venue. At Sambhal, police even registered a case against girls for damaging posters of minister Iqbal Mehmood.

The Chief Minister had then declared that all eligible girls will be given financial assistance. But this is easier said than done.

Under Kanya Vidya Dhan Yojana, girls who have cleared Class XII in 2012 are entitled to a one-time financial assistance of Rs 30,000 for pursuing higher studies, provided the annual income of the family does not exceed Rs 35,000.

In this scheme, the Secondary Education Department has received as many as 6,48,577 applications. For paying them, the government will need more than Rs 1,945.00 crore while the budgetary provision is only Rs 896.35 crore, which includes Rs 450 crore in the supplementary budget and Rs 446.35 crore in the regular budget.

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