Karnataka: Farmers likely to get budget bonanza despite fund crunch | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The agriculture sector is likely to get a substantial share of allocation notwithstanding the revenue crunch as chief minister BS Yediyurappa has promised a pro-framer budget that he’s set to present next Monday.

In line with the Union budget that is focused on building agriculture market infrastructure, Yediyurappa is likely to propose setting up of new farmer producer organisations across the state.
A new scheme of giving diesel subsidy to farmers in the wake of rising fuel prices is also on the cards. Agriculture minister BC Patil has reportedly requested Yediyurappa to introduce the scheme to grant a subsidy of Rs 25 per litre (up to 25 litres of diesel) to ryots who own up to 10 acres of farm land. Farmers can utilise the subsidised diesel for either irrigation pump sets or tractors, and a budgetary allocation of Rs 1,300 crore is expected for the scheme.
“We have proposed certain schemes which are imperative for growth of the agriculture sector. The chief minister has expressed revenue constraints, but we hope the most important schemes we have proposed will be announced in the budget,” said Patil.
He said the chief minister has promised to continue the state’s contribution to the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, minimum income guarantee scheme for farmers. While the Centre gives Rs 6,000 to all farmers with land holding of up to two hectares, the state gives Rs 4,000. Another significant announcement expected is increase in reservation for children of farmers in agriculture universities from 40% to 50%.
Yediyurappa had cut the allocation to the agriculture sector from Rs 21,805 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 16,472 crore in the current financial year. However, the trend is expected to be reversed and it may see a hike in the allocation by about 10%.
Experts said the allocation to agriculture is expected to be increased for multiple reasons, including the Centre’s enhanced investment in the sector. RS Deshpande, agriculture economist and former director of Institute for Social and Economic Change, pointed out the Centre granted Rs 5,000 crore to the corpus fund of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in addition to the existing Rs 5,000 crore. The corpus fund is to encourage micro and drip irrigation in states and Deshpande said Karnataka is expected to benefit substantially from the scheme.
“Allocation to the agriculture sector is most likely to be higher than that of the present year, though we are not sure about the likelihood of it reaching the 2019-20 level,” said Deshpande.

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Sagar Biswas

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