In a move intended to please the Samajwadi Party, the Centre has hiked its annual assistance package to Uttar Pradesh by more than 20% over last year to about Rs. 60,000 crore. This is double the average increase of about 10% during the past five financial years.
One of the highlights of the politically significant gesture is financial support for the free laptop scheme for students who have passed their Class-12 board exams this year.
The SP had made this promise in the run-up to the assembly polls, which the party won with a resounding majority in March.
In addition, the Centre will extend the Bundelkhand financial package for another three years after a review later this month.
The Centre also budgeted for construction of 3.86 lakh homes for the rural poor, Rs. 500 crore for piped water supply, Rs. 922 crore for capitalisation of gramin (village) banks and additional allocation of three lakh tonnes of urea.
The Centre is also looking at a possibility of funding the recharge of groundwater in 108 drought-hit blocks and Rs. 1,100 crore for rural roads.
Senior government officials here said the Centre is willing to help the state improve the road, electricity distribution and education infrastructure.
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