Agri sector gets a boost with Rs 50,000 crore scheme

Pradhan mantri krishi sinchai yojana will achieve convergence of investments in irrigation

GN Bureau | July 2, 2015


#agriculture   #irrigation   #narendra modi   #finance minister   #arun jaitley   #water management  

The government has unveiled an ambitious programme to increase agriculture sector output and efficient management of water resources. For this it will spend Rs 50,000 crore over the next five years under the newly launched pradhan mantri krishi sinchai yojana (PMKSY). The allocation for the current fiscal is Rs 5,300 crore.

The decision was taken at the meeting of cabinet committee on economic affairs headed by prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

"It has been decided that in 5 years, Rs 50,000 crore from the central Budget would be utilised for the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. States' share will be over and above this," finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday while communicating the Cabinet decision.

"The major objective of the PMKSY is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level, expand cultivable area under assured irrigation (har khet ko pani), improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, enhance adoption of precision-irrigation and other water-saving technologies (more crop per drop)," he said.

The scheme is also aimed at enhancing recharging of aquifers and introducing sustainable water conservation practices by exploring feasibility of re-using treated municipal water for peri-urban agriculture and attracting greater private investment in precision irrigation.

This year the programme is expected to bring an additional 6 lakh hectares under irrigation while 5 lakh hectares will benefit from drip irrigation. Currently, 142 million hectares are used for cultivation, of which only 45 percent farm land is under irrigation.

 It will also help in the completion of 1,300 watershed projects.

"The scheme also aims at bringing ministries, departments, agencies, research and financial institutions engaged in creation/recycling/potential recycling of water under a common platform so that a comprehensive and holistic view of the entire "water cycle" is taken into account and proper water budgeting is done for all sectors," he said.

The programme architecture of PMKSY looks at a 'decentralised state-level planning and execution' structure in order to allow states to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP), he said.

All structures created under the schemes will be geo-tagged, he added.

National agricultural market

The government has also allocated Rs 200 crore for three years to set up an online national agriculture market by integrating 585 wholesale markets across India -- a move that would help farmers realise better prices.

The cabinet approved a central sector scheme for promotion of national agricultural market through agri-tech infrastructure fund.

"An amount of Rs 200 crore has been earmarked for the scheme from 2015-16 to 2017-18," an official statement said. The department of agriculture will set it up by creation of a common electronic platform deployable in selected regulated markets across the country.

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