By BS Reporter
The Odisha government presented a separate budget for agriculture and allied sectors with an outlay of Rs 7,161.84 crore for 2013-14 exceeding previous fiscal’s budgetary allocation by 27 per cent.
The exclusive budget for the farm sector, unprecedented in the state's history, and second after Karnataka in the country, offers a string of schemes for farmers – Rs 100 crore health insurance under Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana’, Rs 520 crore under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Rs 290 crore under Jalanidhi and sustainable harnessing of ground water and Rs 42 crore towards input subsidy to farmers.
The agri-budget also has a provision of Rs 305.90 crore towards interest subvention in 2013-14 to make the short-term crop loan available from both cooperative banks as well as commercial banks at two per cent subject to timely repayment. Besides, the budget has provided for Rs 20 crore towards normal interest subvention of three per cent and additional two per cent for timely repayment of loan to make term loan available at seven per cent.
Towards development of infrastructure in regulated market committee market yards, there is an allocation of Rs 298 crore. Rs 2 crore has been provided to give free mobile phones to 20,000 farmers to access information under the Digital Mandi scheme. For establishment of agro industrial estates, the budget has a provision of Rs two crore while Rs 30 crore has been provided as state share of premium for crop insurance scheme.
Under the budget, Rs 1,823.77 crore has been set aside for agriculture department under Plan and Non-Plan provisions, an increase of about 20 per cent over Rs 1,519.31 crore in 2012-13. There is a provision of Rs 30 crore for grant of capital investment subsidy for setting up commercial agri enterprises under agriculture policy-2008.
In the water resources sector, the budget has provided Rs 200 crore for mega lift irrigation projects to provide irrigation to farmers in upland areas. For major and medium irrigation projects there is an outlay of Rs 1,712.27 crore while Rs 923.28 crore has been set aside for minor irrigation works. There is an allocation of Rs 193 crore towards Biju Krushak Vikas Yojana.