Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Navin Patnaik led Government’s continuous negligence to the farmers forced his party heavyweight Pradip Maharathy on July 9 to cry out in the Assembly that if the administration does not change its modus operandi, agriculture may not remain the principal avocation of Orissa’s majority after 15 years.
Pointing out where does the government err, Maharathy said that Officers are not being made to appreciate the applicability of the State’s agriculture policy. To encourage use of tractors for agro purpose the government grants subsidy on records. But in reality officials grab the subsidy money in lieu of keeping their eyes closed to use of the tractors in non-agricultural works.
Agriculture officers, even the faculties of Agriculture University, who are duty bound to interact with cultivators and equip them with technical know-how for better productivity are not doing that and yet enjoying immunity, he roared.
Dwelling on how Orissa markets are occupied entirely with highly contaminated fish from Andhra, Maharathy alleged that kickbacks have become so essential in kick starting official action that an Andhra body has taken away 432 Acres of Kausalyaganga to the total detriment of Orissa interest.
Criticizing Navin’s last phase of administration for the folly in deploying village level agricultural workers from the Agriculture Department to the Pachayatiraj Department, Maharathy disapproved the arrangement and demanded immediate reversal thereof.
To him, the conduct of the government is anti-agriculture. When old age pension scheme is available for many, the government has not included therein the old agriculturists. On the other hand, poor farmers from whom the government had procured seeds are perishing in running from pillar to post to get their dues. The government has not yet paid Rs.18 crores due to the farmers against cost of seeds that the officials had collected from them, he pointed out.
In initiating debate on the debate on demand for agriculture Congress member Santos Singh Saluja had alleged that the department of agriculture looks like rudderless. It is a confused department manned and controlled by persons sans any commitment to agriculture and any understanding of affairs of cultivators. When electrical demand in Orissa is continuously rising, energy use in agriculture has been in continuous decline, he said, suggesting that due to lack of interest and commitment in official level, farmers are kept away from advance technology.
Amongst others, Leader of Opposition Bhupindar Singh and members Pravatranjan Biswal, Bhagirathi badajena, Devraj Mohanty, Niranjan Pradhan, Pratap Sarangi, Amar Satpathy etc expressed their views on justification of the demand.