Dispur not cooperating, fumes Agriculture minister
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Jan 30: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today accused the Congress government in the State of not cooperating with the Central government in implementing central schemes.
Singh, who visited villages in Kamrup district today, said that villagers are still not aware about the soil health card. Some of them alleged that central schemes benefitted only a certain section of people in particular areas, he said at a press conference later.
"Under a Rs 11-crore scheme of tiol Bamboo Mission, the Central government had released Rs 3 crore. The State has not yet given the utilization certificate for the amount and hence it has not received further sanction," the Union minister pointed out.
The ICAR had sought some additiol land to upgrade and expand its tiol Research Centre on Pigs located at Rani. But, the minister said, the State government is charging Rs 1.6 lakh per bigha. "The institute will benefit the local people. Why is the State charging for the land? The ICAR has now written to the Chief Minister to waive the amount," he said.
Citing another instance of lapse on the part of the State government, the Union minister said a dairy development project was approved for ten districts in the State with an outlay of Rs 1,260.76 lakh in 1994-95.
An amount of Rs 909.51 lakh was released till 2004-05. "While there is an unspent amount of Rs 19.28 lakh, the State government reported that there was embezzlement to the tune of Rs 276.44 lakh in the state's Directorate of Dairy Development, which is being investigated by the CID. No further details of progress were communicated to the Centre, as a result of which the scheme turned dud," the minister claimed. Several reminders were sent to the State government to take action and refund the embezzled amount, but no corrective measure was taken, he said.
Singh said the ICAR had identified a plot of 500 acres for establishing the Indian Agriculture Research Institute at Bamunigaon of Kamrup district, and has urged the State government to allot the land for the purpose.
"The State government has to cooperate to ensure that central schemes are properly implemented and the people derive the benefits," he added.