First-ever special agriculture Budget to be presented in AP on Monday



Hyderabad: The first-ever exclusive agriculture Budget in Andhra Pradesh, in addition to the general Budget, would be presented in the Assembly on Monday.

State Agriculture Minister Kanna Laxminarayana would present the agri Budget soon after the general Budget is read out by Finance Minister A Ramanarayana Reddy.

The farm sector budget would cover allocations for agriculture and eight allied sectors including horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, marketing, cooperatives, sugar, water supply and food processing.

According to Laxminarayana, the special agriculture budget would herald a new era in the state's agri sector.

It would ensure better coordination among officials of various departments and instil confidence among agriculturists with various steps for their benefits, he said.

A massive exercise preceded the presentation of the agriculture Budget.

As per the idea of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, a team led by Laxminarayana visited neighbouring Karnataka and studied the concept of agriculture Budget being made there.

Maintaining that mere presentation of special agri budget would not suffice, the state government has decided to appoint a committee of ministers to monitor how the money is being spent, officials said.

The panel would meet once in every three months. Separately, a committee of officials, headed by Chief Secretary, would meet once in a month and supervise the release of funds for agriculture and allied sectors.

Special committees would also be appointed at the district-level. The government is of the view that better coordination among officials of various departments would substantially reduce the problems being faced by farmers.

Moreover, the new mechanism would also help the government intervene in agriculture at the right time for the benefit of farmers, the officials pointed out. The special Budget would put more focus on agriculture and its allied sectors and lead to holistic growth, they added.

PTI