AP unveils country’s 1st ‘action plan’ for farm sector

K.V. Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on March 18, 2013


To provide Rs 3,622 cr for agriculture power

The Andhra Pradesh Government has come out with the country’s first Budget proposals for the agriculture sector. It has proposed an action plan of Rs 25,962 crore for agriculture and allied subjects for the 2012-13 financial year.

The programme earmarks Rs 17,694 crore for the Plan component, with the rest being allotted for non-expenditure.

Action plan

Presenting the exclusive ‘Action Plan’ for the primary sector at the Legislative Assembly here on Monday, Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana pegged the total investments for the sector at Rs 98,940 crore against Rs 79,924 crore, an increase of 24 per cent over the last year. Investments included Rs 72,450-crore planned under the agriculture credit plan.

The Agriculture Minister announced a Rs 100-crore fund for market intervention to ensure minimum support price for crops such as paddy, jowar, maize, ragi and pulses.

A Rs 590-crore Natural Calamities Fund to provide farmers immediate relief in times of distress has also been proposed.

The other major allocation is for agriculture power. The Government would provide Rs 3,622 crore to power distribution companies (discoms) towards power subsidy.

It also talked about high-voltage distribution systems to about 2.50 lakh connections in 16 districts at a cost of Rs 1,115 crore.

With a view to add value to fams products, the plan allotted Rs 120 crore to set up oil palm processing units, rice bran oil mills, oleoresins and spice oil (chillies and turmeric) units.

Faux pas

Though the Government went to town about the first ever Budget for agriculture and allied subjects in the last few weeks, it finally came out with an Action Plan and not with a Budget.

The printed material suggested that it is Budget Speech but officials, at the last moment, struck off the word ‘Budget’ with a pen and mentioned ‘Action Plan’.

Another version doing rounds was, the Government had decided to avoid using the word ‘Budget’ as it could pose technical problems.

The Major Irrigation Ministry, too, objected to play a subservient role, claiming agriculture is a much smaller subject financially speaking.

Published on March 18, 2013

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