Andhra pradesh Government spent only 37% of agriculture budget last year
- Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy says the YSRCP govt spent only Rs 7,481 cr out of Rs 20,250 allocated in budget for farming in 2019-20
- Dismissing claims of CM that they have allocated Rs 22,000 cr for farming this year, points out that schemes like zero-interest are in vogue since YSR govt
Nellore: TDP senior leader and former minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy questioned the justification for the state government in celebrating Rythu Dinotsavam when it spent only 37 per cent of the funds allocated for agriculture sector during 2019-20. He said only Rs 7,481 crore out of the total Rs 20,250 crore allocated for the sector were spent.
In a note released on agriculture sector in the state on Tuesday, Chandramohan Reddy said Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy waxed eloquent on the developmental measures of his government saying Rs 22,000 crore was allocated for agriculture this year but going by the last financial year's record, the government was not bothered about the sector.
"Zero-interest schemes are not new to the state. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had introduced loans at 25 paisa interest and the Kiran Kumar Reddy government altered them to zero-interest loans. Subsequently, the TDP government had continued the programme. The Centre is also providing 5 per cent of remission on such loans which should be kept in mind. You are paying only 4 per cent, which comes to 32 paise," said the former agriculture minister.
He said the TDP government had conducted 1.29 crore soil tests in the lands of 68 lakh farmers in the state and issued Soil Health Cards to them. This has to be done on a rotation basis for every three years, he added. He criticised the YSRCP government for failing to consider any basic programmes that benefit the farmers.
Chandramohan Reddy said the state government had stopped soil testing, supply of micronutrients to farmers on subsidy, and even support for the drip irrigation. TDP had spent Rs 1,380 crore for drip irrigation while the present government is not spending even 10 per cent of that amount, he lamented.
"You failed to give seeds to farmers on time, no support to farm mechanisation nor help to farmers' groups. We achieved 11 per cent growth rate in agriculture, highest in the country. The government should first focus on the agriculture sector but you are ignoring the basic principle," said the TDP leader.