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Experts decry poor agri allocations

Experts decry poor agri allocations
Highlights

No steps to ensure A remunerative prices to farmers We expected a separate agriculture budget. What was...

No steps to ensure A remunerative prices to farmers We expected a separate agriculture budget. What was introduced today was only an agriculture policy. It disappointed us. However, they had made a beginning and it should be welcomed. There is no clarity on what changes they wanted to bring in agriculture policy. The policy did not specify steps to be taken to get remunerative prices to the farmers. It also did not address issues like loans to tenants. Coming to allocations, no additional allocations were made for agriculture in the present budget. They raised thousands of crores but adjusted the same amount in some other accounts. Effectively, there was no raise in allocation. If it is adjusted against inflation, the real allocation came down. For example, the budget allocated Rs 100 crores for price stabilization fund. But it is not adequate. To stabilize prices for seven eight main crops, according to our estimate about Rs 2,800 crore are needed. If we observe budgets in the last 15 years, the allocations for agriculture are coming down in real terms. The production cost of crops in Andhra Pradesh is highest in the country due to intensive use of fertilisers. The cost of seeds in private sector also very high. The government did not take any steps to reduce the agriculture cost not did it take steps to give remunerative prices making the life of farmer miserable. The trouble is that the government is not paying its share of premium to the insurance companies. Hence, they are not extending the insurance to more farmers. Half the insurance amount is going to Anantapur district and remaining to all the districts in the state. There are about tenant farmers are there in the state. As there is not system to recognize them, they are not getting institutional loans. They were forced to take loans from micro finance and other expensive sources. Neither Budget nor the Agriculture policy addressed this issue.
Dr Ramanjaneyulu, Director, Stable Agriculture Centre, Hyderabad.
A cruel joke on farmers There was a hype before the budget that separate agriculture budget would be presented. But it did not happen and it deeply disappointed the farmers and agriculture experts. A There was nothing new in the agriculture policy announced by Kanna Lakshminarayana. They played a cruel joke with the farmers by allocating meager funds for price stabilization fund and for natural calamities compensation schemes. The irrigation potential has been used to saturation point. For food security, you have to depend on rain fed areas to increase food production. For rain fed agriculture, only 2 thousand crores were allocated which is not adequate. With ground water dwindling, the drip irrigation should be encouraged to conserve water. But this budget did not allocate enough funds for drip irrigation. In the Budget allocated Rs. 300 crores for seed subsidy. According to estimates, the farmers in the state are spending about Rs. 5 thousand crores on seeds every year. Of that, 4 thousand crores are spent on seeds for food crops. How is 300 crores enough to subsidize 5 thousand crores? The budget allocated 39 crores to build godowns to preserve seeds in the rural areas. It is ridiculously low amount. At a time when the solar energy could be an alternative for pump sets in rain fed agriculture, they allocated only Rs. 150 crores. That shows their seriousness towards the farmers.
D Jalapathi Rao, Former Registrar, ANGR Agricultural University, Hyderabad
Record Rs 417 cr for welfare of poor: CM kiran2Hyderabad: For the first time in the State's history, Rs. 417 crore was allocated to welfare of the minorities and poor in the budget presented on Monday. This was stated by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at Ramagundam, in Karimnagar district. He asserted that while the Telugu Desam government during its nine rule had set apart only Rs 158 crore, the Y S Rajasekhkara Reddy regime spent Rs 400 crore for the welfare of the poor, including BCs. He recalled that the last year's allocation for the poor was a record Rs 3,019 crore. The Chief Minister claimed that his government had increased the budget this year for the minorities to Rs 1,027. The amount in 2012-13 was Rs 489 crore, in constrast to Rs 150 crore to Rs 160 by YSR. The TDP regime, he alleged, had only allotted amounts for the purpose ranging from Rs 27 crore to Rs 30 crore.
New schemes in the Budget
Following are the new schemes announced by Anam Ramnarayana Reddy in the budget for 2013-14, presented in the Assembly on Monday.
  • A Supply of nine essential commodities wheat, wheat atta, sugar, red gram dal, palm oil, tamarind, chilly powder, turmeric powder and iodized salt in a package for Rs 155 to BPL families.
  • State Finance Corporation grants to PR Institutions.
  • Construction of buildings for SC residential school complexes.
  • Infrastructure facilities for Tribal school complexes.
  • SFC grants to Municipalities.
  • Economic support scheme for SCs
  • Indiramma Amrutha Hastam
  • JNTU at Sultanpur, Medak district
  • Rajiv Deevena, Pre- matric scholarships for SC Students.
  • Solar pumpset programme,
  • Telugu Bata, a year -long cultural celebrations.
  • Economic support scheme for ST
  • Financial assistance for studies abroad for SC students.
  • Construction of roads in Tribal areas under NABARD programme.
  • Solar water heater system programme.
  • Best Available schools for SC day scholars.
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