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Amid spate of farmers suicides, Maharashtra Govt releases agricultural growth plan

The special emphasis on agriculture comes after Dharma Patil, an 80-year-old farmer who committed suicide in front of the Mantralaya to protest the inadequate compensation for his land acquired by the government.

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dna Correspondent

Updated: Feb 27, 2018, 06:35 AM IST

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In lieu of the recent spur in farmer suicide cases in the state, the Maharashtra government on Monday reiterated its commitment to revive the agriculture sector releasing an agricultural growth plan which included a spur in agricultural investment, access to institutional credit at affordable interest rate, enhancement in agricultural productivity and complete irrigation project on a mission mode.

On the inaugural day of the budget session in both the houses of the legislature, Governor C Vidyasagar Rao said that the investment in the agriculture sector, which grew at 12.5 per cent in 2016-17, is expected to sustain its momentum in 2017-18. The agricultural investment had risen by a record 280 percent to Rs 83,000 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 29,000 crore in 2013-14.

The special emphasis on agriculture comes after Dharma Patil, an 80-year-old farmer who committed suicide in front of the Mantralaya to protest the inadequate compensation for his land acquired by the government.

Further, Rao said that the flagship Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan accompanied by the energisation of pump sets and farm ponds has already brought a paradigm shift in the agriculture sector. He added that the government proposes to ensure the protection of the farmers against natural calamities through a universal coverage under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The insurance scheme also ensures that the farm produce are purchased under the minimum support price (MSP) scheme.

Referring to the much ambitious crop waiver scheme, Rao said that 54.72 lakh accounts have been approved so far and funds have been allotted to the banks for 46.35 lakh accounts for loan waiver and incentives for timely loan repayment. The remaining accounts are under verification. Rs 12,381 crore has already been transferred to 31.33 lakh farmers' accounts. 

The government has placed its bet on the rising productivity of land by ensuring adequate irrigation facilities. The implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana is expected to create an additional irrigation potential of 5.56 lakh hectare.

CHASE FOR TRILLION DOLLAR ECONOMY

Governer Vidyasagar Rao said that the government would also aggressively pursue various policies and programems to achieve a trillion dollar economy within a stipulated time-frame.The high growth rate will be accelerated by giving impetus on infrastructure-led growth policies.

The government has also leveraged international funding and allotted substantial state budgetary resources to give a massive push to augment public infrastructure. It has undertaken various infrastructure projects including metro and monorail worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Nagpur.

The increase in infrastructure and agriculture has led to an increase in the gross state domestic product (GSDP) from 8.5 per cent in 2011-16 to 9.4 per cent in 2016-17. The government aims to increase the GSDP growth to 15.5 per cent and the manufacturing growth to 9.5 per cent by easing business and promoting private entrepreneurship.

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