Bhubaneswar: Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari on Friday presented in the Assembly the state’s Budget for the financial year 2019-20. While the surplus budget has been hailed as a pragmatic one, the weightage given to the agriculture and allied sectors is what makes it more important.
In the Agriculture Budget, the Finance Minister has given due importance to the two fundamental sectors – agriculture and irrigation. Above all, the state’s flagship program KALIA has also got a significant allocation.
The Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme aims to cover 75 lakh farmers who will be given financial assistance for augmenting their agricultural spends.
The scheme has been allocated Rs 5,611 crore in the budget. The scheme is allocable to all small and marginal farmers as well as landless agricultural households and sharecroppers of the state. Provisions have been made for scholarships to the children of the KALIA beneficiaries. The Finance Minister has made an allocation of Rs 31 crore for organic farming in 10,000 hectares land under the ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikash Yojana’.
In order to fulfill the need for adequate seeds distribution, the FM has made provisions of Rs 60 crore for corpus fund with the objective of extending interest free loan to Odisha State Seeds Corporation and Odisha Agro Industries Corporation for procurement of seeds.
The Finance Minister has also made a provision of Rs 182 crore to popularise agricultural implements/equipment so as to help farmers to take up timely agricultural operations.
In order to give a boost to Agricultural Research, Education and Infrastructure, an allocation of Rs 30 crore has been made for OUAT.
Likewise, to promote horticulture, floriculture and spices, an outlay of Rs 100 crore has been proposed under the National Horticulture Mission.
An allocation of Rs 5 crore has been proposed in the budget to support Farmer Producer Organisations.
In order to strengthen the irrigation potential in the state, the Finance Minister has made a number of provisions in the budget.
A sum of Rs 1861 crore has been proposed for completion of the incomplete Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Projects (AIBPs) implemented through PMKSY.
Also, Rs 1565 crore has been proposed under the state-funded Water Sector Infrastructure Development Programme (WSIDP) for other ongoing and new projects.
The Gangadhar Meher Lift Canal system has been given importance as a provision of Rs 100 crore has been made for this in the budget. Likewise, Rs 146 crore has been given for Nabakrushna Choudhury Secha Unayana Yojana.
The state government’s flagship irrigation project Parbati Giri Mega Lift Irrigation Scheme got a boost with a huge allocation of Rs 1777 crore. It is definitely going to add to the irrigation potential in the state especially in the western areas. In order to harvest water and create small irrigation projects, a provision of Rs 334 crore under Mukhya Mantri Adibandha Tiyari Yojana (MATY) for construction of 2,000 more check dams has been made.
The FM has allocated Rs 180 crore under the RIDF for the on-going Jalanidhi scheme. Farmers will be provided 20,000 Deep Bore Wells under the Deep Bore Well Scheme with an allocation of Rs 540 crore. Rs 400 crore has been proposed under the Biju Krushak Vikas Yojana with a target to install 1000 community lift points.
In the agriculture budget, Rs 314 crore has been proposed in the Command Area Development Programme for field channels and field drains to improve water use efficiency and to provide last mile irrigation through field channels and pipes.
The Finance Minister has made provisions to reduce seepage losses in distribution system and to ensure water availability at farm level. For this, a sum of Rs 210 crore has been proposed under Canal Lining and System Rehabilitation Programme (CLSRP).
In order to boost farming activity and provide timely financial help to the needy farmers, the State Government has announced interest-free crop loan upto Rs 1 lakh and Rs 800 crore has been earmarked in the budget for the purpose.
For crop insurance, Rs 400 crore has been proposed under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to provide quick relief and adequate compensation to the farmers.
The government which is seriously considering to improving the usage of millets in the state has made provisions of Rs 50 crore for Odisha Millet Mission.
Rs 54 crore has been proposed for development of Brackish Water Aquaculture, Marine Fisheries, Intensive Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries.
The Finance Minister has allocated Rs 83 crore under the umbrella Centrally Sponsored Scheme called ‘Blue Revolution’ for different activities such as fish seed rearing centres, integrated development of reservoirs, rejuvenation of water bodies and capacity building of fish farmers. Rs 65 crore has been earmarked under the umbrella scheme of ‘White Revolution’ for development of dairying and livestock management.
The Finance Minister has taken a right step towards augmenting irrigation potential in the state. The total allocation for the agriculture and allied sectors is three times more when compared to the 2013-14 financial year. This is going to add to the overall growth of the agriculture sector and improve the quality of crops.