Union Budget 2011-2012
I am happy to share some points which I had communicated to members in my earlier communications are now find a place in the Union Budget presented on 28th February 2011 for the period 2011-2012 by Union Finance Minister Shri. Pranab Mukherjee:
1. The fertilizer subsidy is directly given to farmers: On this issue I countered a report by IIM professors wherein they recommended continuing the policy giving subsidies directly to industry. This was sent to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson NAC (as well later to Planning Commission) in February 2009 wherein “I am one of the few advocating giving input subsidies to farmers directly instead of giving it to the industry based on my experience with the agriculture system functioning in India and more particularly in Andhra Pradesh. This was part of my submission to Hon’ble Prime Minister as well Planning Commission on few occasions”. This was included in my book “Climate Change: Myths & Realities [Annexure-I: Weather Aberrations Perspective of Dry-land Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh] pages 51-59” can be seen on Google book search or www.scribd.com.
2. The issue on production vs food prices vs food security I mentioned that around 50% of our food produced is going as waste due to non-availability of storage facilities/gowdowns, timely transport facilities, rampant illegal exports of food grains. In fact this was also highlighted in a discussion in New York Times Environment/Dot Earth Blog posting as well earlier posting in Economic Times Peer Power. Also included this in my mails to Hon’ble Prime Minister as well Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Planning Commission. Now in the Budget, the finance minister mentioned that the waste is around 40% [though in terms of vegetables] and accordingly allocated funds for infrastructure including cold storage facilities.
In addition to these two major issues of union budget, two other important issues I was advocating find a place elsewhere. Since more than a decade [published in books and as well presented at several forums] I am advocating these. They are:
3. Already under food security Bill it included under PDS the coarse cereals which I am emphasizing since 2000 (I discussed this in my book published in 2000 as well communicated to PM & NAC chairperson).
4. I was emphasizing the need for the last more than 10-years [included in my books as well my interactions] to look in to pollution angle with reference to urbanization & chemical inputs tailored agriculture than greenhouse gases vs global warming as they create greenhouse gases as well health hazards. This point was also emphasized in my mails to MoEF on Climate Change issues. A new report released in Nairobi, Kenya by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Meteorological Organization of United Nations (WMO/UN) proposes a climate – change stopgap. Controlling two noxious ground level pollutants, black carbon (soot) and ozone. Reducing levels of these substances will slow the rate of climate change in the 1st half of 21st Century, public health, water and food security, and ecosystems.
Though I am not claiming that these are included because of me but I am happy that some of my view points find a place or reflected in the decisions of national and international bodies. All India Radio will be broadcasting my talk “Role of climate change on agriculture production, price-rise and food-nutrient security” on National Network on 11th March 2011 at 10 PM [recorded on 18th February 2011] reflect some of these points.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy