Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday pitched for more autonomy for states at the fourth council meeting of Niti Aayog in New Delhi on Sunday.
“We need to focus on agriculture and allied activities as an integrated sector and dairy, poultry, goat and sheep rearing, and fisheries should also be exempted from income tax. As a part of the initiatives for doubling the inc-ome of farmers, MGNREGA funds should be tagged to agriculture with 50 per cent contribution from farmers to reduce the cost of their investment,” the CM suggested.
“In order to extend a helping hand to farmers we are also making massive investments in irrigation. Kaleshwa-ram and Palamoor- Ranga Reddy Irrig-ation Projects on rivers Godavari and Krishna will on completion become the lifeline of Telangana. These projects shall provide new irrigation facilities to farmers over 26 lakh acres and stabilisation of 18 lakh acres in 24 districts of Telangana. We are setting up new standards in completing various mega projects without any time and cost overruns,” Mr Rao said.
Referring to foodgrain storage capacity in Telangana, the CM said, “Another major infrastructure development we have taken up for the overall growth of agriculture sector is construction of 356 agricultural godowns in the past three years with a storage capacity of 18.3 lakh MTs at a cost of `1,050 crore. This is in addition to 170 godowns with a capacity of 4.17 lakh MTs storage capacity, and these godowns are distributed throughout the state depending upon potential for usage. This is helping farmers in many ways, like storage of agriculture produce in order to beat market fluctuations, storage of agriculture inputs like fertilisers, seeds etc.