Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government presented its first annual budget for 2017-2018 fiscal which is claimed that it will take the state forward onto a higher trajectory of growth. The Budget focuses on villages, poor and farmers.

 The current budget, presented by Finance Minister Shri Rajesh Agarwal, is 10.9% higher as compared to the last fiscal. The Uttar Pradesh government revealed its allocation of funds for various sectors that will affect the development of the state. He said that the focus of the government is on rural development as well as ensuring overall development of the state.

 Highlights of UP Budget 2017-16

  1. The 2017-18 annual budget is pegged at Rs 3,84,659.71 crore and it is 10.9 per cent higher than last fiscal’s. UP budget provides for Rs 55,781.96 crore for new schemes.
  2. Uttar Pradesh government has allocated a sum of Rs 21.12 crore for free education up to graduation for girls under ‘Ahilyabai Kanya Free Education Scheme’.
  3. The government allocated Rs 800 crore for development of infrastructure in cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura under ‘Prasad Yojana’.
  4. The government announced recruitment of around 33,200 police officials in the state.
  5. A fund of Rs 3000 crore has been allocated for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Rs 200 crore has also been given out for Bundelkand special provisions while Rs 800 crore for Prasad Yojna in Ayodhya-Mathura-Kashi regions.
  6. A special budget of Rs 36,000 crore has been allocated for farm loans waiver in the state. The Finance minister also announced the launch of groundwater conservation mission in this budget along with a new policy for solar power in the state.
  7. An amount of Rs 500 crore has been allocated under annual budget for preparation of ‘Ardh Kumbh’ to be held in Allahabad.
  8. Metro network expansion, construction of expressway in the state and job creation are key focus areas of the government.
  9. A special budget of Rs 3,255 crore has been allocated for construction of toilets across the state. Rs 1,000 crore funds has been announced for Swachh Bharat mission in Uttar Pradesh cities.
  10. The Uttar Pradesh government has also allocated Rs 142 crore budget for scholarship upto class 10th and Rs 50 crore for WiFi in degree colleges and universities of the state.

 These initiatives will help the state in, improving the socio-economic conditions, enhance the standard of living of the people and this will further lead help in achieving a double digit growth.

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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the violence in the Valley was the “handiwork of external forces” and “now unfortunately, China is trying to meddle in it.” She also reiterated that the attack on Amarnath pilgrims, which left seven dead, was to create “communal tension” in the country. Ms. Mufti’s statement followed her meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence to discuss the law and order situation in the State and security arrangements for Amarnath pilgrims. Explaining her remarks, Ms. Mufti later told The Hindu that she had referred to China’s recent remarks indicating that “a third country” could take action in Kashmir to support Pakistan in the same way India had supported Bhutan on the Doklam plateau.

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Legendary sitar player Rais Khan

India-born legendary sitar player Ustad Rais Khanpassed away in Pakistan on May 2017. He was 77. He was reportedly diagnosed with an ailment and had been bedridden for quite some time. He breathed his last in Karachi.
He is survived by his wife, renowned singer Bilqees Khanum, and four sons. Ustad Rais was born in 1939 in Indore, India in a family of musicians. He belonged to the Mewati Gharana of Indian classical music. His maternal grandfather Inayat Ali Khan was also considered one of the finest sitar players in the subcontinent.
He learned music from his father Muhammad Khan. His uncle Vilayat Khan was also a legendary sitar player.

Rais Khan gave his first performance at the age of 5 in Bombay’s Sunder Bi Hall. The performance was attended by the governor and maharaja of India, who appreciated the his talent.

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kishori-amonkar

Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar died on April 3, 2017 night at the age of  84. According to reports, she died in her sleep in her central Mumbai house. Kishori Amonkar was a leading Indian classical vocalist. She is considered to have been one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and is an innovator of the Jaipur gharana, or a community of musicians sharing a distinctive musical style.

Amonkar was the leading singer of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. Born in Mumbai on April 10, 1932, she trained under Anjanibai Malpekar of the Bhendi Bazar Gharana and her mother Mogubai Kurdikar, who herself was trained by Alladiya Khan Saheb, a leading exponent of the Jaipur Gharana. She was a performer of the classical genre khyal and the light classical genres thumri and bhajan. Amonkar trained under her mother, classical singer Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur gharana (musical tradition of Jaipur), but experimented with a variety of vocal styles in her career. She is considered one of the pre-eminent representatives of Hindustani classical music.

Amonkar was known, and sometime criticised, for breaking out of the rigid classicism of the Jaipur Gharana and tempering it with influences from other schools of Indian music. Her repertoire was diverse. She could deliver thumris, bhajans and even Hindi film music with the same skill as the more raag-based khayal songs. She received a plethora of awards, including the Padma Bhushan in 1987 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2002. She was also honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1985 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for 2009.

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Jan Dhan deposits touch Rs 64,564 cr

 Jan Dhan deposits touch Rs 64,564 cr; Rs 300 cr added during demonetization – According to Government data, Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts have touched a new high of Rs 64,564 crore, of which over Rs 300 crore came in the first seven months of demonetization. Of these, 23.27 crore accounts were with public sector banks, 4.7 crore with regional rural banks and 92.7 lakh with private ones.

 Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to train 5 lakh graduates

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to train 5 lakh graduates to be trained for Goods and Services Tax – Minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy stated that with the demand for tax professionals increasing in the country in view of Goods and Services Tax (GST) coming into effect from July 1, the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship will train 5 lakh graduates for GST. The commerce graduates will be trained in 100 GST training centres across the country.

NDMC Smart City projects timelines

NDMC Smart City projects has given timelines; Rs.1,240 cr worth works to begin in October –   New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has been asked by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs to ensure completion of smart city projects ahead of time so as to lead by example in smart city making across the country. Of the Rs.1,800 cr Smart City Plan of NDMC, work on a range of major impactful projects will begin in phases by October this year, for which tendering is in progress.

No (GST) tax on second hand goods if sold cheaper

GST implementation: No tax on second hand goods if sold cheaper – The buying and selling of second hand goods will not attract Goods and Services Tax (GST) if sold at a price cheaper than the purchase price. Rule 32(5) of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017, provides that where a taxable supply is provided by a person dealing in buying and selling of second hand goods or used goods, the value of supply shall be the difference between the selling price and the purchase price and where the value of such supply is negative, it shall be ignored.

No breach of farm subsidy limits, India tells WTO

 India has informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it did not breach the permissible farm subsidy limit between 2011-12 and 2013-14. India recently submitted its farm subsidy details for these three years to the multilateral body. Putting to rest doubts of developed countries that India’s farm subsidies have been on the rise, it has been told to WTO that input subsidies that include those for fertilisers, irrigation and electricity fell to USD22.8 billion in FY2014 compared with USD29.1billion in FY 2011.

Proposal for states to make their own Aadhaar Acts

Centre makes proposal for states to make their own Aadhaar Acts – The state government may soon enact their own “State Aadhaar Act”, as the central government has made a proposal for the same. Though a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is set to hear challenges to the Aadhaar Act, the Centre put up the idea at the national conference of state chief secretaries, organised by NITI Aayog.

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