Interest-free, short-term loans to bring much cheer for farmers

Agricultural Prices Commission to be set up

Interest-free, short-term loans to bring much cheer for farmers

The allocation to the agriculture sector in the budget has not thrown up any major surprises in terms of new projects or initiatives. However, what the Congress government has done is to provide farmers further sops in the form of crop loans and insurances.

With a target of achieving 130 lakh Metric Tonnes (MT) of food production, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has extended his populist schemes and provided additional sops to farmers with interest free short-term loans and expanding the State Calamity Relief Fund for them.

The government has also proposed to set up a ‘Agricultural Prices Commission’ with farmers, agro experts and agro-economists as its members. The Commission will be an advisory body that would suggest suitable prices for all agriculture produce in the State.

Apart from these two measures, the government has retained most of the proposal that figured in the budget presented by the former chief minister Jagadish Shettar on February 8, but with some cosmetic changes.

Bhoochetana II

From maintaining a Rs 1,000-crore revolving fund for providing minimum support price, price intervention and support prices operations to extending the Bhoo Chetana scheme under a revised name of Bhoochetana II, the new government has decided to continue with the successful programmes of the previous regime.

The changes include that of allocating Rs 10 crore for the Swabeejabhivruddhi Yojane, the scheme which envisages production of quality seeds by farmers themselves, and setting up of 100 transformer repair centres to facilitate smooth and uninterrupted functioning of agricultural pump sets.

Sticking to its poll manifesto, the Congress government has incorporated the decision of increasing the incentive for milk producers from Rs two to Rs four and has allocated Rs 818 crore for the purpose.

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