A DAY before completion of its four years, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Monday approved the Kanpur Metro project. It also gave nod to a slew of policies for senior citizens such as increasing monthly pension from Rs 300 to Rs 400, providing subsidised mobile solar units and pumps, and free-of-cost hemo-dialysis facilities for the poor at 18 divisional headquarters of the state.
At a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Cabinet approved the Detailed Project Report of the Kanpur Metro project. The project would cover 32 km through two corridors spanning over 31 stations, including 19 elevated and 12 underground ones. As per the DPR prepared by RITES, the project, as on August 2015, is estimated to cost Rs 13,721.
The Cabinet also cleared the UP State Senior Citizen Policy that seeks to safeguard the interests of the senior citizens by setting up old age and protection homes where 25 per cent seats will be reserved for the BPL category. The government also decided to increase the monthly old-age pension by Rs 100, following which a revised pension of Rs 400 will be given to the beneficiaries from April 1 onwards. The Cabinet has also started a senior citizen welfare fund, where contributions from private companies, trusts and individuals would be accepted. The fund, which has been declared tax-free, will be initially set up by the UP government with a corpus of Rs 5 crore.
The state government has also given its nod to providing free facility of hemo-dialysis to kidney patients at one district hospital in every 18 divisional headquarters in the state. For this purpose, 180 hemo-dialysis machines would be installed in each of the government hospitals under public-private-partnership (PPP) model. A tender will be floated by the government soon for installation of these machines.
Mobile solar units for farmers
The government has decided to provide mobile (trolley-based) solar units and pumps at subsidised rates to farmers across state. While small and marginalised farmers would get a subsidy of 60 per cent to purchase these equipment, agricultural self-help groups would be given a subsidy of 50 per cent, while other farmers would get 35 per cent subsidy. The UP government initially plans to give out 450 such units across the state.
The state cabinet cleared the proposal to demolish the existing Shilpgram and make way for establishment of Taj Orientation centre and a new handicrafts centre near the northern gate of the Taj Mahal in Agra, . The project is expected to cost about Rs 231 crore. The government has also decided to demolish the existing building of Animal Husbandry Department at Chak Ganjaria farm to make way for Cancer Institute.
Funding pattern changes
The Cabinet approved of the changed brought in funding patterns by the Centre for schemes in the rural development sector. Under this, the state government would have to bear an additional burden of about Rs 1,263 crore for various projects. For Pradhan Mantri Gram Sarak Yojana-1, which was fully funded by Centre, the state government will now provide 40 per cent of funds, whereas under PMGSY-2, where the funding ratio was 75:25 between Centre and state, the new sharing pattern would be 60:40. Under the Indira Gandhi Awas Yojana also, instead of 75:25 sharing ratio, the pattern will change to 60:40. The biogas scheme, which was fully funded by the Centre earlier, will see the state and Centre share 50:50 funding burden.
The cabinet also gave nod to the implementation of ‘Pradhan Mantri Avas Yojna (Shahri) Mission under which all needy families will get houses in the urban areas by 2022.
The Cabinet cleared the proposal to launch tax settlement scheme for builders. It also approved of amendments in the guidelines for PPP projects. The UP government removed ban on production of industrial liquor produced by molasses-based distilleries, and allowed to set up new non-molasses-based units.