Members from both the ruling alliance and the Opposition in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday asked the government to give greater focus on agriculture sector and highlighted the need for reaching the findings of agriculture research to the end users.

Resuming the discussion on general budget, Vijay Raghavan (CPI-M) demanded an increase in the budget allocation for the farming sector and expressed concern over decline in expenditure on rural economy and subsidies. He said the approach of the budget was against the interest of common man.

Mohsina Kidwai (Congress) regretted that there was no special arrangement to reach the findings of agriculture research to the farmers. Maintaining that Krishi Vikas Kendra, the only link between farmers and agriculture research, was short of staff and scientists, she urged Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to pay attention to this. She underlined the need to evolve a mechanism to bring transparency and check corruption in the Public Distribution System.

Referring to complaints of corruption in NREGA, she said there was need for an independent system to monitor Central government schemes being carried out in panchayats.

She said there are regular complaints of corruption in the job guarantee scheme and perhaps only 25 per cent of the money reaches intended beneficiaries.