Giving a major boost to the agriculture sector, reeling under the impact of two consecutive droughts, the Karnataka government headed by CM Siddaramaiah, has presented a major agri – focused budget this time with a specific budget outlay of Rs. 4,344 crore. This Budget has shown a 13% rise in agricultural allocation, pumping in more resources to ensure adequate and timely help to farmers.
To give more focus to farmers and effective techniques adopted by them, special agricultural zones are being identified in parts of the State on the lines of SEZs formed for industries. Karnataka State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Committee headed by the Chief Minister is to be set up for redressal of grievances of farmers and to converge different schemes under different departments. The budget also proposes to develop 100 villages in four districts across four revenue divisions as Model agricultural villages under the “Suvarna Krishi Grama Programme”. These are great steps towards a great end.
Innovative programs such as new online marketing system are already revolutionizing the agricultural sector in the country, benefiting poor farmers and other stakeholders in Karnataka’s agricultural markets on a large scale. The government though grappling with shortage of revenue as a result of sluggishness in the economy, hasn’t in any way let that affect its developmental plans and has kept the Budget balanced and as pro-farmer as possible.
In a major relief to planters, the budget has proposed to abolish agriculture income tax hoping to benefit plantation crop growers in the state. Apart from that, Rs. 675.38 crores has been allocated for Crop Insurance to insure farmers on account of weather uncertainties.
In short, seeds for agricultural transformation have been sown, the positive impact of which, will definitely be felt in the years to come!