Bangalore: The beleaguered chief minister of Karnataka B. S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday presented an exclusive budget on agriculture sector which is seen as an attempt to woo the rural vote bank.
The total amount allocated to the sector was a whopping Rs17,788 crore which is said to be the largest among the other Indian states. It includes farming and horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries, irrigation and free power for IP sets. In the general budget of 2010-11 over Rs11,000 crore was given out to the sector. “This is an innovative step which has emerged out of experience and required for over all development of agriculture sector,” BSY said during the presentation.
The economists view this as a bold step. “It sends out a message to the farming committee that they are taken care of. Even states heavily dependent on agriculture have only increased allocation by seven to eight per cent. This 50 % increase is a smart step. Implementation is however to be seen,” said the R. S. Deshpande, director of Institute for Social and Economic Change.
The state plan size has also been increased by 23 % to Rs38,070 crore which is said to be the largest in per capita terms among all states.
This budget can come as interim relief for Yeddyurappa as the talks of mid-term poll which began soon after the scandals allegedly involving him surfaced. “This budget does not pose any challenge to BSY’s position. However it is not grand design either to elevate his situation,” said political analyst and pro vice-chancellor of Jain University Sandeep Shastri.
The opposition parties Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and Janata Dal (Secular) in the state mean while criticized the budget as unrealistic. “The government has not spent 50 % of the money allocated during previous financial year. Hence the assurances made cannot be trusted up on,” said KPCC leader in legislative assembly, Siddaramiah.