In Telangana’s budget for 2021-2022, the focus is on irrigation with an allocation of Rs.16,931 cr; Rs. 5.225 cr for waiver of crop loan

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The highlight of the Telangana budget for FY2021-22 was the allocation of Rs.16,931 crore for the irrigation sector, an increase of 53.18% over the allocation of Rs.11 053.55 crore from last year. In addition to this, the government of Telangana Rashtra Samithi led by K. Chandrashekar Rao has set aside over 25,000 crore rupees for agriculture and related sectors, including a component of 5,225 crore rupees for the exemption of agricultural loans. The irrigation and agricultural sectors both played a key role in the rapid development of Telangana. The government has proposed a total expenditure of Rs 2 30,825.96 crore for 2021-2022.

Presenting the budget to the State Assembly on March 18, Finance Minister Harish Rao highlighted the steps taken by the government to redesign many irrigation projects that had been stuck in interstate disputes, and the measures taken. to resolve these disputes in a friendly atmosphere. The minister said the Kaleshwaram elevator irrigation project on the Godavari and Sita Rama project (where the Godavari flows at a height of 618 feet into the Kondapochamma Sagar) were nearing completion. He added that work on the Palamuru-Rangareddy elevator irrigation project is also progressing at a steady pace.

Claiming that for the first time in 20 years the reservoirs were full and water was flowing in the canals, the minister announced that the Dindi Elevator Irrigation Project, intended to provide water to land supplied by the Sagar canal on the left bank near the district of Nalgonda, would soon be completed. ; that the Sammakka Sagar (thupakulagudem), which is part of the Devadula Elevator Irrigation Project, was nearing completion; and that the construction of the Sitamma Sagar (Dummugudem), which was part of the Sita Rama project, would be started soon. In an effort to increase irrigation facilities, the Telangana government has sanctioned several new projects across the state and prepared detailed project reports for others.

Harish Rao said in his budget speech that the annual area cultivated in Telangana increased from 1.41 crore acres in 2014-15 to 2.12 crore acres in 2020-21, registering a growth of over 49%. Likewise, agricultural production had nearly doubled from 2.5 crore tonnes in 2014-15 to an estimated record production of 4.11 crore tonnes in 2020-21, the minister said.

Cotton production

The finance minister said: “Farmers in Telangana produced crops valued at Rs.1 lakh crore last year. The state has also made significant progress in cotton cultivation and has become the second largest cotton producing state in the country with a crop of 60.54 lakh acres. The state supplied 64 lakh tonnes of paddy to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) during the Yasangi 2020 season, which represents 56% of the total paddy purchased by the FCI. Harish Rao cited the introduction of innovative programs such as Rythu Bandu and Rythu Bima, both launched in 2018 and become mainstays of the agricultural sector in Telangana, as further reasons for the renewed confidence of farmers.

The minister said that at present the government is providing 10,000 rupees per acre per year covering two harvest seasons. And against an expenditure of Rs 14,736 crore spent in the 2020-21 fiscal year, an estimated Rs 14,800 crore was set aside for the program in 2021-2022. The minister said about Rs.35,911 crore had been spent on the program over the past three fiscal years, benefiting 59.25 lakh farmers, 90 percent of whom were small and marginal farmers. The government had set aside 1,200 crore rupees for the Rythu Bima program in 2021-2022 as insurance premiums, providing insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakhs to farmers, the minister said. He added that Rs 1,141.4 crore was spent on insurance premium in 2020-21 for providing insurance coverage to 32.73 lakh farmers. In the past three years, the insurance amount of Rs 2,328 crore has been paid to 46,564 farming families, he said.

The minister revealed that the government is spending Rs 10,500 crore to provide free and uninterrupted electricity to farmers. It was also ensuring a timely supply of fertilizer and urea, and as part of its Mission Kakatiya program, thousands of ponds had been rejuvenated. This not only boosted agricultural activities, but also improved the water table and improved aquaculture.

Palm oil

The minister announced that a comprehensive plan has been prepared for the promotion of oil palm cultivation on 8.14 lakh acres. To encourage farmers to engage in its cultivation, the government will provide a subsidy of Rs 30,000 per acre and, with the aim of reducing the immediate burden on farmers, steps would be taken to ensure that the cost of remaining inputs is covered by bank financing. . Harish Rao said: “India now imports palm oil worth Rs 70,000 crore per year. By cultivating it, we will not only achieve huge currency savings, but also good yields for farmers for 30 years. The state government has formulated a comprehensive plan to provide farmers with all the facilities necessary for the cultivation of oil palm.

Focusing on incentivizing mechanization and enabling farmers to acquire modern agricultural machinery, the government has allocated Rs 1,500 crore. Over the past five years, the government has provided a grant of Rs 14,644 crore for agricultural mechanization and has spent an additional Rs 951 crore to provide tractors, other agricultural machinery and implements. The government has also decided to promote food processing units statewide to boost employment in rural areas.

Dairy industry

Stating that the Telangana government has placed emphasis on the development of the dairy industry, the minister said that the incentive of 5 rupees paid on every liter of milk to cooperative dairies has boosted the sector. The Minister said: “The average daily milk supply of Telangana Vijaya dairy has increased from 1.27 liter lakh in 2014 to 2.89 liter lakh this year. Likewise, Vijaya Dairy, whose debt stood at Rs 30 crore after the formation of the state, maintains fixed deposits of Rs 58.5 crore. It has a turnover of Rs. 676 crore. The budget allocated Rs 1,730 crore to the departments of animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries.

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