Low allocations to irrigation draw criticism

Tirupati: The state budget for 2022-23 presented on Friday by Finance Minister B Rajendranath Reddy made some efforts to get out of the Covid-19 crisis. Overall, budget allocations for the agriculture sector, women empowerment, health sector, etc., were welcomed while the proposals for the irrigation sector drew serious criticism .

Head of Women’s Studies Department of SP Mahila Visvavidyalayam Prof. G Sandhya Rani observed that overall it was a balanced budget and comprehensive in nature. It reflected the targets set by the UN in its 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. While notable progress could be seen in the standard of living of the poorest strata, this budget also focused on government social initiatives.

Following the participatory approach, the budget paved the way for strengthening women’s participation in the development process by recognizing the need to provide them with appropriate opportunities. To eliminate gender bias and achieve gender equality, the continuation of social protection schemes will certainly help. In a nutshell, the budget focused on oppressed and weaker sections, marginalized groups, women and children, she said.

The organizer of the Rayalaseema Intellectual Forum, Mr Purushotham Reddy, lamented the poor allocations to the Rayalaseema region and the poor progress of major irrigation projects in the region. Even the Siddeswaram and Gundrevula projects which have all the approvals found no place in the government’s priority list, he said.

He said that a serious injustice has been inflicted on the Rayalaseema irrigation projects in the allocations. “The budget did not meet the aspirations of the Seema people. To alleviate the water problem in the region, the government should focus on expanding the Pothireddypadu project, increasing the capacity of the canals and completion of the Galeru-Nagari and Handri-Neeva projects. The meager allocations for these projects can only cover administrative expenses,” he said while calling on the government to modify budget allocations and allocate sufficient funds. to Rayalaseema’s projects.

The Federation of Farmers’ Associations District Secretary, R Sreenivasulu Reddy, said the government had talked about e-marketing in markets, but it remains on paper. In fact, the government has abolished the commissionaire system in market yards, but it is still in vogue, which has become an even heavier burden on farmers.

He felt that instead of giving Rythu Bharosa, the government could consider liberalizing input subsidies, support prices, etc. The amount of Rs 13,000 under Rythu Bharosa in four installments will not be beneficial to the farming community.

The Rythu Bharosa Kendras have technicians who should be well trained to monitor crops and guide farmers accordingly, he said.

James V. Hayes