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District panchayat to purchase land for the poor

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Budget matters: B.P. Murali, vice-president, Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat, presenting the budget for 2008-2009 on Wednesday.
Budget matters: B.P. Murali, vice-president, Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat, presenting the budget for 2008-2009 on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

Budget proposes schemes for milk and vegetable production

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Scheme to purchase land for those below the poverty line, Rs.44.90-crore ‘Ksherashree’ project for boosting milk production and Rs.10.06-crore ‘Haritha Fresh’ project for promoting vegetable cultivation are among the main proposals in the district panchayat budget for 2008-2009.

Presenting the budget on Wednesday, vice-president and Finance Standing Committee chairman B.P. Murali said that the budget expected revenue of Rs.341.81 crore and expenditure of Rs.325.04 crore, with a surplus of Rs.16.76 crore.

The revenue sources are Rs. 21.14 crore from the Plan fund, Rs.4.75 crore from the maintenance grant, Rs.70.72 lakh from the general purpose grant, Rs.240.04 crore from Centrally-aided schemes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), Indira Awas Yojana, Swarna Jayanthi Grama Swarozgar Yojana, Pradhana Mantri Grama Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Hariyali, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and Total Sanitation, Rs.1.66 crore from PAU administration fund, Rs. 1.44 crore from Nabard, Rs.1.50 crore from the 12th Finance Commission award, Rs.56.50 crore as grant from various departments and agencies and the Rs.7.54-crore surplus from the last financial year.

Proposals to utilise Rs.11.18 crore from the Plan fund and general category, Rs.8.79 crore from special component plan and Rs.1.15 crore from tribal sub-plan has been included in budget.

Mr. Murali said Rs. 3.75 crore had been earmarked in the budget for purchasing three cents of land each for those in the BPL list who do not have a dwelling place. The scheme is being implemented with the help of the Central and State governments and banks. The beneficiaries will be identified by the grama panchayats.

‘Ksherashree’ is aimed at increasing milk production by one lakh litres and ensuring employment for poor women. Mr. Murali said two cows each would be provided to 5,000 persons. A sum of Rs.1.20 crore has been marked for the Rs.44.90-crore project.

The ‘Haritha Fresh’ scheme aims at increasing vegetable cultivation to at least twice a year on 360 hectares of land and production of 40 tonnes of vegetables daily. A sum of Rs.175 crore has been earmarked for implementing NREGS in all grama panchayats.

Road development

Rs.43.92 crore had been provided for road development in the district and Rs.2.22 crore for sanitation.

An allocation of Rs.9 lakh has been made towards commencing physical training in schools and Rs.29 lakh for raising schools in various sectors to model schools. Sarva Siksha Abhiyan has been provided Rs.2.94 crore and Rs.30 lakh has been earmarked for the Ashraya scheme.

. Mr. Murali said Rs.1 crore each had been earmarked for the People’s project and for development of Scheduled Caste colonies.

Upgrade for schools

The schools run by grama panchayats for the mentally challenged will be upgraded on the lines of BUDS schools run by Kudumbashree at a cost of Rs.20 lakh. A sum of Rs.25 lakh has been earmarked for the old age home at Venjaramood to rehabilitate those who have regained mental health. The old age home at Parasala will be converted at a cost of Rs.15 lakhs for housing the physically challenged and orphans.

Padasekhara samithis showing good results will be awarded ‘Karshakasree’ award. Mr. Murali said Rs.10 lakh will be provided for the samithi bagging the award for improving infrastructure facilities.

Rs. 20 lakh has been earmarked the fisheries and energy sector. Pattom Thanupillai Smaraka District Hospital, the first homeo hospital in the State, has been provided Rs.25 lakh.

Later, addressing newspersons, district panchayat president Anavoor Nagappan and Mr. Murali claimed that all the schemes announced in last year’s budget had been implemented.

Mr. Nagappan said they were not against deploying tilling machines in areas where there was shortage of manpower. The discussion on the budget will commence at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

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