Higher allocation likely for agri budget this year

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is likely to make provision for higher allocation for the special agriculture budget this year.

This was discussed at a high level review meeting presided over by chief secretary AP Padhi at the State Secretariat here on Monday.

Taking note of the severe drought in the state this year, the state government has given more emphasis on the development of the agriculture sector.

Sources said the government would focus on increase in agriculture production, non-paddy crops, easy availability of agri loans, increase in irrigation potential and simplification of agriculture subsidy and incentives.

The chief secretary directed the concerned departments to prepare an integrated and result-oriented draft budget on agriculture.

He also asked the departments to take adequate steps to include both loanee and non-loanee farmers in the Krishi Bima Yojana and ensure timely payment of compensation amount to the affected and insured farmers from the insurance companies.

Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan laid emphasis on proper coordination among departments linked to agriculture for successful implementation of the schemes.

The meeting was attended by the principal secretary, Agriculture and Cooperation Manoj Ahuja; principal secretary, Water Resources Pradip Kumar Jena; secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resources Bishnupada Sethy and experts of Nabakrushna Choudhury Centre for Development Studies and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT).

“The state government would make provisions for more allocation in this year’s agriculture budget. I hope the government would give priority to irrigation considering the severe drought in the state this year. Besides, it would also raise awareness in the state to bring down the incidence of farmer suicide cases,” senior journalist and Resident Editor of Business Standard, Dilip Satpathy, told OTV.

Notably, the state government had introduced the first agriculture budget in 2013-14 with an allocation of Rs 7161.84 crore, which was 27.26 percent more than the allocation the state government had earmarked for agriculture in the annual State Budget in 2012-13.

The allocation went up by 12.55 percent to Rs 8060.70 crore In 2014-15 and by 14.27 percent to Rs 12,903 crore in 2015-16.