`NFSA will not harm interest of farmers`

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IMPHAL, January 5: The National Food Security Act which will be implemented soon in the state will not create any problem for the farmers of the state, said Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister M Okendro Singh and added the government will take up efforts to safeguard the arable land in the state.

He was addressing the inaugural function of the Social Cultural Educational and Sports Development Organisation, Heirok club building.

The minister appealed to all against wrongly interpreting the Act as a means to fully wipe-out the farmers as has been expressed frequently by certain individuals in public meetings.

The Act will not harm any farmer, he said before adding that accepting the wrong interpretation, constructing brick farms, workshops etc on the arable land is unfortunate and need to be stopped at the earliest.

He said that the government will take steps to safeguard arable land for cultivation by separately determining areas for educational institutes like schools, college and for developmental constructions.

He said that for a state which is 90 percent hilly area, cultivation of all food items is done in the valley region.

The minimising agricultural land in the state will not allow the government’s effort to make the state a food sufficient land to be successful, he said.

For the benefit of the farmers, the government will soon implement the “Paddy for Payment” for the government to buy the food grains, he said and added that it will be implemented once the government gets some financial relief.

He further appealed to all against collecting money in the name of forms for the selection of the beneficiaries of the Act, and the people not to believe in such hoax.

He also appealed to all pradhans and members who are conducting the selection of the beneficiaries to work selflessly.

Elaborating on the efforts of the government for development of the Heirok constituency, he said steps have been taken up to ensure that the constituency is turned into a model constituency free of corruption.

He also said that steps have been taken up to construct the Heirok market with a more desirable design conforming to present day norms.

Elaborating more, he said there are also efforts to provide sufficient water to the Heirok agricultural fields and encourage double/triple cropping; and to install solar energy run engines to ensure free flowing drains and ponds.

Citing that development works take time, he appealed to the people to wait for some time.

The minister also assured to repair the road connecting Wangjing to Heirok to reach Khudengthabi under the ADB and further appealed to the local clubs to support the government when steps to widen the road is undertaken.

Speaking as the president of the function, Outer constituency MP, Thangso Baite said that the people instead of discussing on how to bring development in the state, are more concern with the issue of disintegration of the state.

He said people should instead discuss the issue of development.

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