Thiruvananthapuram: Giving thrust to agriculture, the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala Friday announced a slew of measures in its 2014-15 budget to expedite growth in the primary sector.
It also unveiled measures for welfare of farmers including an income guarantee insurance scheme.
In his budget presented to the state Assembly, Finance Minister K M Mani said 90 per cent of the premium of the income guarantee scheme would be borne by the government.
Farmers holding up to two hectares would benefit from the scheme in the event of their failing to get adequate returns from the crops they reared. The budget made an outlay of Rs 50 crore for the scheme.
Formation of an Agriculture Mission to promote high-tech farming with the help of agencies like M S Swaminathan Foundation, a debt relief scheme for small holders and setting up of co-operatives for marketing of agriculture produce at the block level, were some other farmer-friendly schemes unveiled in the budget.
The Finance Minister also announced a scheme to provide laptops to girls from BPL families pursuing professional courses.
Some other welfare schemes include state funding of education for orphaned children upto the plus-two level and monthly financial assistance to elders suffering from chronic illnesses.
For Mani, leader of the Kerala Congress (M), this was the 12th budget in his career as Finance minister in various cabinet since mid-1970s.