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KCR Seeks More Powers To States In NITI Aayog Meeting

The Telangana CM urged the Centre to let go of the health, education, urban and rural development and agriculture sectors, which he said should be the domains of the state.
Hyderabad | 17th June 2018
Stating that the country was facing a lot of challenges in the areas of external affairs, defence and the economy, and that it should give attention primarily to those issues, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao today urged the Centre to let go of the health, education, urban and rural development and agriculture sectors, which he said should be the domains of the state.

He also urged the Centre to shed the rigidity of the Centrally-sponsored schemes that he claimed curtailed initiatives by the state governments.

Speaking at the fourth meeting of NITI Aayog's Governing Council at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre in New Delhi on Sunday, KCR said that the growth of the country lay in the growth of its states, and therefore the fast-growing states needed to feel encouraged by tax incentives, if not by additional transfers from Central funds.

"We need to treat agriculture and allied activities as an integrated sector. Dairy, poultry, goat and sheep rearing, and fisheries should also be exempted from income tax. And as a part of the initiatives for doubling the income of farmers, MGNREGA funds should be tagged to agriculture with 50% contribution from farmers to reduce the cost of their investments," he suggested.

The Telangana CM enumerated the farmer-friendly initiatives taken by his government, including the "Rythu Bandhu" scheme providing Rs 4,000 per acre per crop to farmers, and the "Rythu Bhima Yojana" proposed by his government providing life insurance cover of Rs 5 lakhs for each farmer. As over 98% of farmers in Telangana were small and marginal farmers, it was inevitable to cover all farmers to avoid unnecessary screening, he claimed.

He said his government was also constructing mega irrigation projects like the Kaleshwaram and Palamoor-Rangareddy projects, as well as creating the necessary infrastructure for the storage of harvested crops and providing marketing facilities.
filed in:  Telangana, KCR, Niti Aayog, Narendra Modi
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