Still no funds for buying pump sets

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IMPHAL, August 8: Despite the state cabinet decision for distribution of 400 number of pump sets to farmer societies, the funds required for purchasing the pump sets have not been sanctioned as of date, according to sources.

According to the said source the earlier stock of 250 pump sets at the disposal of the state Agriculture department have already been distributed by the Agriculture Minister Md Nasir on the recommendation certain MMinisters and MLAs.

Meanwhile the Minister Nasir still forwards DO letters from the MLAs and ministers to the department and DO letters are flooding the department.

A cabinet meeting held on August 6 had reviewed the drought like situation in the state and had approved an action plan.

The plan includes distribution of 400 pump sets to farmer societies in rainfall deficit areas. However, the funds for purchasing the pump sets are not available till date.

According to the cabinet resolution, the plan to augment crop production and other distribution items for farmers was estimated at Rs 11.06 crores.

The funds will be sanctioned by the Ministry of Agriculture to the State under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY).

The total amount earmarked for the state is approximately 53.12 crore, the source added.

However, the funds are not meant for the Agriculture department alone but will also be distributed to seven line departments inclusive of the Horticulture and soil Conservation and Co-operation etc.

A state level standing committee will decide how much funds will be sanctioned to the respective departments after the disbursement from the Ministry. Afterwards, the earmarked fund of Rs 11.06 crore will be sanctioned to the Agriculture department.

The source further states that one cannot hope for new funds under RKVY as demanded by the state cabinet as the state is yet to submit the utilization certificate of the RKVY funds amounting to 11.12 crore sanctioned to the Agriculture department for the fiscal year 2011-12.

The amount is still lying at the 8449 state suspense account awaiting release.

So, only after the utilization certificate of the amount is forwarded to the ministry the additional RKVY funds would be sanctioned. This indicates that the action plan formed by the state government cannot be implemented as of yet.

Meanwhile, there are no pumps at the Lamphelpat godown as MLA/Ministers have been allocated 3/4 pump sets each. A total number of 250 sets were distributed by the Agriculture dept.

Interestingly, a DO letter from Panchayati Raj and Rural Development minister Francis Ngajokpa was forwarded to the Agriculture director this evening asking for a pump set, according to reliable sources.

The letter was acknowledged by the director by referring it to the Lamphel store keeper but however mentioned regret that there may be no pumps available at the store, the source added.

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