Hyderabad, June 17 (Maxim News): Stating that the country was facing a lot of challenges in the areas of external affairs, defence, macro-economic and global issues and it should continue to give due attention to those issues, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao today urged the Centre to give freedom to the States in doing work in Health, Education, Urban and Rural Development and agriculture sectors. He also urged the Centre to shed rigidness of Centrally-sponsored schemes that curtail the initiatives of the State government.
Speaking at the fourth meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre here on Sunday, Chandrashekhar Rao said the growth of the country lies in the growth of its States and therefore, the fast-growing States must be encouraged by tax incentives, if not by additional transfers from Central funds. “We need to focus on agriculture and allied activities as an integrated sector. Dairy, poultry, goat and sheep rearing, and fisheries should also be exempted from Income Tax. As a part of the initiatives for doubling the income of farmers, MGNREGA funds should be tagged to agriculture with 50% contribution from farmers to reduce the cost of their investment,” he suggested.
Enumerating farmer-friendly initiatives taken by his government, including ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme providing agriculture input assistance of Rs 4,000 per acre per crop to farmers. As there were over 98% small and marginal farmers in Telangana State, it is inevitable to cover all the farmers to avoid unnecessary screening. Allaying fears over the Rythu Bandhu scheme that it might distort the financial market, KCR reiterated that the “agricultural investment assistant scheme” does not distort the credit system, agricultural product prices and cropping pattern and so on.
The Telangana Chief Minister also highlighted the ‘Rythu Bhima Yojana’ proposed by his government providing life insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh for each farmer. Besides taking up purification of land records, he said his government was constructing mega irrigation projects like Kaleshwaram and Palamoor-Rangareddy projects as well as creating necessary infrastructure for storage of harvested crop and providing marketing facilities. These Projects shall provide new irrigation facilities to farmers in over 26 lakh acres and in stabilization of 18 lakh acres in 24 Districts of Telangana. (Maxim News)