Agriculture

Interim Budget 2019: 'Gokul Mission funds have not been suitably utilised at all'

The scheme is just 'lip service' for the Modi government says official even as Piyush Goyal allocates Rs 750 crore to it

 
By Jitendra
Last Updated: Friday 01 February 2019
Cow Economy
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Usually, the Union government’s Budget is allocated for all types of livestock and animal husbandry development purposes. On February 1, 2019, interim Minister of Finance Piyush Goyal eulogised cattle in his speech and allocated Rs 750 crore for them under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM).  

RGM is aimed at conserving indigenous Indian breeds of cattle through selective breeding, especially for the genetic upgrade of 11.3 crore low-milk yield nondescript bovines in the country.

When Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, his government renamed the previous regime’s scheme and allocated a proposed outlay of Rs 2,025 crore to it till 2019-20 in its first Budget.

However, financial stress delayed rolling the scheme on time. There was no allocation of funds for 2014-15 and 2015-16. It rolled out only in the fag end of financial year 2016-17.

In that year, the government allocated Rs 65 crore to the scheme. In 2017-18, the other two programmes, National Program for Bovine Breeding and National Mission for Bovine Productivity were merged together as RGM. It made the allocation shoot up to Rs 190 crore.

In the last five years, the government has not spent more than Rs 300 crore out of the corpus, says an official who doesn’t wish to be named.

The government is not serious about the conservation of indigenous cattle breeds. It is just lip service for them, he further said.

Currently, the scheme is in its last year

Goyal also announced the setting up of a ‘Rashtriya Kamadhenu Aayog’ to upscale the sustainable genetic upgradation of cattle resources and to enhance the production and productivity of cows. The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cattle.

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