Special Correspondent

Kumaraswamy, Yediyurappa concerned over rising inflation

What they say

  • Support has been limited to two farm universities
  • The Centre should adopt bold measures to help farmers

    BANGALORE: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa have said that the Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram should have followed the "Karnataka example" in extending support to the farm sector. They have both voiced their concern on the growing inflation and the lack of specific measures to check it in the Union Budget.

    Mr. Kumaraswamy said: "I am afraid the common man will be increasingly burdened by higher prices in the coming financial year."

    He said enough has not been done to help the agriculture sector. While the Budget recognises that the growth in agriculture is not satisfactory and stresses the need to achieve the 11th Plan target of four per cent, there is nothing new for the benefit of the farmers and the agriculture sector. "Even agricultural research support has been limited to only two agricultural universities," he said.

    The Chief Minister said the Union Government should have at least followed the "Karnataka example" in the matter of providing support to the agriculture sector four per cent interest for farm loans, 75 per cent subsidy for drip irrigation and 75 per cent subsidy for agricultural seeds.

    "The Union Government should adopt some bold measures to help the farming community," he said.

    Mr. Kumaraswamy said the budget, however, contained some good points such as provision of special funds for coffee and rubber.

    "The increase in allocation for Bharath Nirman by 30 per cent is commendable and this will help the rural sector. Both education and health have got greater allocation which was long overdue and has been repeatedly recommended by State Governments. However, outlay for the irrigation sector and the target area to be brought under fresh irrigation remains disappointing," he said.

    Mr. Yediyurappa has criticised the Budget for not increasing grants under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme. Although the States have requested that the funding should be in the ratio of 50:50, the Union Government has continued with the 33:66 ratio wherein it grants Rs. 33 for every Rs. 66 contributed by the beneficiary State.

    Welcome move

    Bangalore Staff Reporter reports:

    The increased outlay for the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in the Union Budget is a welcome move and would help in developing health infrastructure for the primary health sector, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Usha Ganesh, told The Hindu on Wednesday.

    "Nothing specific regarding outlay for the State has been indicated under the NRHM as of now, but we hope that the increase in allocation from Rs. 8,207 crore to Rs. 9,947 crore for this programme will percolate to the State and will help in improving primary health infrastructure," Ms. Ganesh said.

    About allocation of Rs. 969 crore for the National AIDS Control Programme, she said that the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) would allocate adequate resources for interventions in HIV/AIDS and for the counselling and testing centres.