The State Budget for 2013-14 is not expected to roll out any new schemes in view of the election year

The State Budget for 2013-14 may not roll out any new schemes in view of the election year, but all the key sectors will get enhanced allocations.

New schemes need not be part of the State budget proposals. They can be announced during the course of the financial year as per the government’s decision.

However, a final call will be taken by the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy once he goes through the draft budget speech, said Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayan Reddy.

But two new key changes in the new budget would be SC, ST sub-plan allocation and the agriculture budget that will make allocation and utilisation of funds to the priority sectors mandatory to meet the set objectives. These two major changes in the new budget are enough to impact positively the lives of farmers, artisans and the Dalits, he said.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ramnarayana Reddy said the major benefit of the agriculture budget is that it addresses fund requirement for procurement of agricultural commodities, marketing, supply of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides apart from agricultural operations.

“This will facilitate coordination between the allied departments including civil supplies and irrigation for better planning and execution of programmes to benefit the farmers, ensure minimum support price, procurement and marketing facilities for their agricultural produce,” he said.

As in Madhya Pradesh where Krishi Cabinet meetings are held exclusively to review agricultural sector, the State may also follow suit from the next financial year to review spending of allocated funds.

With the budget proposals to be studied by different standing committees, it will also ensure fair amount of discussion instead of guillotining of the budget. “Each committee will have about 40 members.

Even if all the members may not be well versed with budget analysis, at least 10 members in each committee would examine and give meaningful suggestions,” he added.

The 22.8 per cent of budget allocation for SC, ST sub-plans under the new legislation cannot be diverted to other departments from hereafter and it entails careful planning of the schemes and programmes by all the departments to utilise the funds earmarked for SC, STs on the basis of their population.