Centre releases Rs 929 crore to states under RKVY

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (UNI) The Centre has released Rs 929 crore to States to plan and implement projects under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here today.

He said considering the encouraging response from the States, the initial budget provision of Rs 900 crore had been increased to Rs 1000 crore and more funds would be made available to ensure that the implementation of the scheme was smooth.

Informing this to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Pawar expressed the hope that the scheme would provide an incentive to the States to invest more in agriculture.

Explaining the need for greater public investment in the Agriculture sector, Mr Pawar said the annual growth of agriculture had slowed down to about two per cent during the IX and X Five Year Plans.

The growth rate did pick up during the last two years of the X Plan, but the public investment needed to step up to achieve growth rate of 4 per cent in the XI Plan, he added.

Mr Pawar said,'' The new scheme encourages States to increase the share of expenditure on agriculture and allied sectors in their State Plans. They are required to prepare District Agriculture Plans and a State Agriculture Plan based on the local agro-climatic conditions. The scheme has wide scope and States can plan a range of agricultural activities including animal husbandry and fisheries under RKVY.'' States had been given a great deal of flexibility in planning and execution. Projects were sanctioned and their implementation would be monitored by a State Level Sanctioning Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary of the State. So far 15 States had held State Level Committee meeting to clear projects worth nearly Rs 930 crore, he said.

Stressing that proper implementation and monitoring of the scheme was necessary for its success, Mr Pawar informed that the National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad would assist in monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of RKVY.

The members who attended the meeting included A Sai Prathap, Jai Parkash, K Francis George, M Appadurai, K Dhanaraju, Alok Kumar Mehata, Kailash Eaitha, and Ranen Earman (Lok Sabha) Thennala G Balakrishna Pillai, C Ramachndraiah, Pyarelal Khandelwal and Prof M S Swaminathan (Rajya Sabha).

UNI/JSS GT RK1930

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