Oppn. focuses on reduced allocation for agriculture in TS budget

March 21, 2017 01:42 am | Updated 01:42 am IST - HYDERABAD

Reduced allocation to Agriculture in the 2017-18 Telangana Budget was questioned by the Opposition in the legislative Assembly on Monday, during a debate on demands for grants.

Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Chintal Ramachandra Reddy charged the State Government of not implementing many central schemes, incluidng the ‘Fasal Bima’ or crop insurance scheme. Under the scheme only six lakh farmers have been included so far, he alleged. Budgetary allocations to the Agriculture and allied sectors have been brought down by 20% and after loan waiver instalment, only ₹ 2,446 crore will remain for other schemes.

Recalling the promise to develop Telangana as ‘seed bowl’ for the country, Mr. Reddy questioned what measures had been taken in this direction. Crop loan targets had not been met during Khariff and Rabi seasons, he charged.

‘Innovation needed’

Telugu Desam Party member R. Krishnaiah too raised the issue of budget reduction for agriculture, and said that the sector needed innovation and modernisation in a big way. The agricultural university should be linked to the department and modernised, towards turning around the sector as a profit-making vocation by encouraging exports, he said.

Expert committees should be set up at mandal level, to advise the farmers on informed cultivation, so that pernicious practices such as monocropping and use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers are stopped. Mr. Krishnaiah also accused the Government of leaving hundreds of acres of land fallow in the name of real estate and sought action against such land owners, as it results in national loss.

Loan waiver scheme

Congress member M. Bhatti Vikramarka said that farmers could not avail loans from commercial banks owing to haphazard implementation of loan waiver scheme. Even private loans were not forthcoming due to demonetisation move.

Finance minister Eatala Rajender objected to Mr. Vikramarka’s claim that 12,000 farmers committed suicide since formation of Telangana as a separate State and said that Agriculture was hit during the first two years, due to lack of rainfall and drought situation. Late, but copious rains aided cultivation in 2016-17, giving highest yields, Mr. Rajender said and claimed that the Telangana Government has spent ₹ 130 crore on SRSP canals, to give irrigation to tail-end villages.

Mr. Vikramarka also raised the issue of suicides by young police inspectors and sought to know the pressures behind the same. He questioned licenses to liquor malls and micro breweries and said control should be exercised on bars and belt shops to contain rampant road accidents.

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