The government is planning to adopt a separate budget for agriculture and allied subjects like cooperation, marketing, dairying, fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture and sericulture from the 2013-14 fiscal.

It has come to the conclusion that these require separate treatment and strong thrust backed by suitable financial allocations as Andhra Pradesh is primarily an agriculture economy.

The move is in tune with the recommendations of a Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana. Karnataka has a separate budget for agriculture. This was stated by Finance Minister A. Ramanarayana Reddy after commencing a fortnight long pre-budget consultations here on Friday.

The Minister also disclosed that a proposal was being considered to introduce solar-energy pumpsets under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna for farmers enjoying free power to save the regular electricity.

50 p.c. subsidy

Mr. Ramanarayana Reddy said 50 per cent of the cost of such pumpsets would be subsidized (30 per cent by the Centre and 20 per cent by State) while the remaining cost would be borne by the beneficiaries through bank loans. Surplus electricity available from a pumpsets could be used for domestic purposes.

On higher and technical education demands, a view was taken that funds must be earmarked to set up government engineering/degree colleges and polytechnics in the districts lacking these institutions. Officials were asked to identify such districts.

The Finance Minister proposed increase in capital expenditure by higher and technical education departments through spending on infrastructure facilities, particularly buildings. Officials sought Rs. 10 crore each to the universities newly established to improve their facilities.

Solar energy pumpsets in the offing for farmers under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna