IMPHAL, June 5: The Maoist Communist Party of Manipur has accused the state Agriculture Department of misappropriating thousands of crores meant for aiding farmers of the State.
A release by the publicity secretary of the proscribed outfit Nonglen Meitei states that the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) was taken up by the National Development Council in its 53rd meeting held in 2007. The mission seeks to ensure better production of rice, wheat and pulses etc wherein the nine districts of Manipur are included.
The financial help given by the mission to Manipur is mainly objected at providing rice seeds and irrigation facilities. A total of Rs 1,21,628 lacs was sanctioned under the scheme for the financial year of 2012-13 and the utilisation certificate for the amount was given on May 9,2013. Unfortunately, the said amount was never disbursed to the farmers.
Under the same mission, the state received a total of Rs 2,600.004 lacs for 2013-14 which also did not reach the targeted farming population. At present, another 1559.09 lacs has been approved for sanction by the ministry for the current financial year on May 21, 2014. The funds sanctioned for 2012 till 2014 has been prioritized at better rice production. But, the funds for the present year also targets at producing vegetables inclusive with rice, this was stated by the director of Crops ministry of Agriculture Department namely Reena Shah to the state Agriculture department in an approval letter.
The outfit states that a total of Rs 3816,28 lacs has been misappropriated by the concerned officials of the department. The funds meant for the current year will be checked by the Maoist party so that the farmers of the land will have their due benefit.
A state like ours will benefit from the funds meant for helping the farmers which will ultimately lead to more food production and further attend self-sustainable status of Manipur. The NFSM has been providing finances for procuring of rice seeds and irrigation facilities, but the officials of the Agriculture department have misled the public and kept the money for their vested personal purposes, it alleged. The Maoist will not take a silent stance when the public of the state has been robbed of their rights. The concerned department should take up necessary actions against the errant officials of the department by June 10, 2014 failing which the outfit will take up stringent measures, it said.