No lack of funds for food security scheme; Issac

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 21 (UNI) Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac today said there was no paucity of funds for the Food Security scheme but only lack of coordination among the departments was impeding in its implementation.

''In the budget, sufficient allocation had been made for the agriculture sector. Different departments had been allocated funds.

But no department had effectively utilised the funds,'' he told reporters here.

He said for agriculture, about Rs 365 crore had been allotted to various departments, Rs 400 crore to the Panchayats, Rs 250 crore for NREG programme and Rs 50 crore for Kudumbasree. Apart from this, there were the centrally-sponsored schemes for agriculture.

''So, where is the paucity of funds for the food security scheme,'' he asked.

Let the budget allocation be utilised effectively. If more funds are needed, it could be given, he said and added out of the Rs 786 crore allotted for local bodies in the tenth plan, only half had been utilised.

The initiative for increasing the agriculture products should come from the Panchayats and also the departments concerned, Mr Issac said and added a committee under the Chief Minister for coordinating the various departments as part of the food security scheme was needed.

UNI PN VV KD ND1814

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