Nagpur: Poor quality of ‘ploughing machinery’ purchased for farmers by Nagpur Zilla Parishad figured in the Legislative Assembly during Question Hour on the last day of Winter Session. The issue was raised by BJP member Sudhakar Deshmukh.
The Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar, in his written reply, informed the member that the farm machinery is of good quality but complaints regarding quality of ‘cultivators’ made available by Maharashtra Agriculture Development Corporation were received by the government. The complaints were investigated by a three-level committee of Zilla Parishad. On the recommendations of the committee, necessary action has been initiated against the then Agriculture Development Officer under Rule 8 of Maharashtra Civil Service (Conduct) Rule 1979.
The NCP member Ajit Pawar demanded concrete measures including grants for uplift of milk producers.
In his reply, the Dairy Development Minister assured the member that a high level all-party meeting will be convened in the month of January next to resolve the issues. He further said the government is making all out efforts to make the farmers, including the milk producers, economically self-sufficient. He admitted that government dairies purchase milk at half the market rate.
Pawar expressed his concern over the fact that a packed bottle of water is purchased at the rate of Rs 20 and a litre of milk at Rs 27. If milk powder and other dairy products are produced and exported, the milk producers will benefit greatly. The state plan to start an industry on the lines of Amul is progressing at snail’s pace, the NCP member charged.
Pawar demanded providing of grant per litre to milk producers on the lines of Goa and Karnataka. He also demanded a high level meeting of all party, farmers and milk producers under the chairmanship of Speaker for resolving the issue. The Dairy Development Minister accepted the demand and assured the member that a high level meeting will be convened in the month of January next.