Bigger slice of pie for 'backward' UP

Uttar Pradesh may have been categorised among the 10 least-developed states in the country by the Raghuram Rajan committee, but the state stands to gain as it would corner a large share of the Central funds.

While the political leaders differ in their views on the backwardness of the country’s most populous state, the economists and social scientists feel that increased Central assistance will help the state develop faster.

“Despite being home to around 18 per cent of the total population of the country, UP’s share in the Central funds has never been adequate. The state needs to be given greater share in the central assistance,” said Arvind Mohan, a professor in Economics and director of Institute of Management Studies at Lucknow University.

Mohan said that UP’s growth rate in the past four-five years has been 4 to 5 per cent.
“Unlike many other states, UP does not have large industries barring a few in some pockets,” Mohan said while speaking to Deccan Herald here.

“Uttar Pradesh suffers from historical disadvantages....lack of ports and prevalence of the feudal system have resulted in the state being backward,” said Professor Rajesh Mishra, a faculty member in Lucknow University and national secretary of the Indian Sociological Society.

Mishra said that in UP, the ‘power elite’ ‘lacked vision’. “That is the reason why the state remained backward despite giving several top political leaders to the country,” he pointed out.

The experts however feel that the enhanced central assistance will certainly help the tide over the resource crunch and enable it to undertake large projects.

The state’s per capita GSDP was Rs 2,9417, which was less than the national per capita GSDP of rs. 60972.

The politicians, however, reacted along predicted lines in accordance with their political affiliations. “The report is only aimed at benefitting a few states and a ploy by the Congress to win some allies,” said Vijay Bahadur Pathak, a BJP leader. The Samajwadi Party said that the state had been asking the Centre for more funds.

UP will corner around 16.4 per cent of the total funds as against the earlier 10.1 per cent.

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