Laptop promise too much to keep

24 lakh students entitled to get free computers

The record Uttar Pradesh Board results for the intermediate may have cheered the examinees and their parents, but it is giving sleepless nights to the officials of the Akhilesh Yadav regime.

The reason is that the government will have to enhance its budget for procuring the laptops to be distributed to the class 12 passouts free of cost.
According to the board officials, a record 93 per cent students have cleared the intermediate examination this year surpassing all previous records.

Officials said in all 24 lakh students of all the boards had cleared the class 12 examination which entitles them to claim the free laptops.

In the state capital only, there will be an additional 60,000 claimants. It may be recalled that as many as 51,000 students from Lucknow had applied for laptops last year but only 10,000 have received them so far.

With this year’s successful candidates, the number of the claimants in the state capital alone will cross one lakh.

The Akhilesh Yadav government had bought around 15 lakh laptops for distribution last year.

The only solace for the state government is that a large number of students also migrate to other states for further studies, especially for engineering and management courses for want of adequate facilities here. Thus, they will not be eligible for the laptops as per the rules.

Owing to the financial crunch, the government has not been able to start distribution of tablets to successful high school students. Officials said the government is already experiencing resource crunch to implement development projects.

Considering the financial health of the state, the schemes were certain to be a burden on the exchequer.

The fiscal deficit in the state budget was pegged at Rs 21,570 crore for 2012-13, which is 2.96 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product.

An amount of Rs 27,000 crore was earmarked for meeting the expenditure on the promises made by the party.

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