Funds for farm growth unused, but allocation raised

June 7th, 2010 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) Even as the central government increases allocation under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for the current fiscal, a major chunk of the funds allocated to states during 2009-10 remains unused.
The RKVY (National Agriculture Development Scheme) was started in 2007 to raise production of crops with an outlay of Rs.25,000 crore for the 11th plan. A sum of Rs.6,755 crore has been allocated for the scheme in 2010-11, almost double of the Rs.3,806 crore allocated last year.

The scheme aims at giving incentives to state governments to work towards achieving the target of 4 percent annual growth in agriculture sector by the end of the 11th plan.

However, data compiled by the agriculture ministry shows only Rs.1,122 crore were used by the states during the last fiscal against a total release of Rs.3,761 crore.

According to the figures, Punjab, the hub of the green revolution and one of the largest producers of wheat in India, has not used a single rupee from a grant of over Rs.43 crore.

Similar is the case of Maharashtra, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal which have no spent anything from their allocated funds, official data shows.

Among the major farm producers, Haryana spent Rs.49 crore out of Rs.112 crore allocated under the scheme.

According to ministry officials, the increased allocation is aimed at spreading green revolution in eastern states.

“We have given additional allocation for extending the green revolution in eastern states comprising West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgrah, Orissa and eastern Uttar Pradesh,” an official said.

Official records show that during the last fiscal Bihar spent only Rs.31 crore against Rs.110 crore released for the state, Uttar Pradesh spent Rs.76 crore out of Rs.390 crore, Jharkhand and West Bengal made no expenditure against the allocation, while Orissa spent Rs.19 crore out of an allocation of Rs.121 crore.

Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh are the only states which fully spent the funds allocated under the scheme, records show.

The agriculture sector recorded the lowest growth in five years during 2009-10 at 0.2 percent due to widespread drought.

The agriculture sector contributed around 17 percent to the country’s total economy in the 2009-10 fiscal.

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