The state’s agriculture department is seeking a separate agriculture budget for the state to better manage its resources and funds. A proposal has been submitted to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. If accepted, Maharashtra will become the third state after Karnataka and Odisha to have a separate agriculture budget.
Nearly 60% of the state’s population is dependent on agriculture, but the state budget is rarely agriculture-oriented, said a department official. "A multiplicity of schemes leads to a delay in funds reaching beneficiaries," he added.
There is also the problem of overlapping schemes among various departments. Officials said a single agriculture budget can deal with fund allocation for eight to ten departments and eliminate duplicity of allocation.