Free Press Journal

Maha: Opposition slams govt for non-payment of drip irrigation subsidy


Mumbai: The proceedings of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly here were briefly stalled today as the opposition members slammed the government over non-payment of subsidy to farmers for the drip irrigation.

The house was adjourned for ten minutes after opposition members aggressively sought explanation as to why Rs 500 crore as subsidy for the drip irrigation had not been disbursed.

R N Wani of Shiv Sena raised the issue during the question hour. Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse (BJP) said the government had become bankrupt and hence it was unable to pay the farmers.

Khadse demanded that the subsidy be paid before the end of the monsoon session.

Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil conceded that payment of subsidy was pending since 2011, and assured that Rs 83 crore, which were to be paid out in 2011-12, would be released within a week, while another Rs 348 crore would be paid within a month.

But the opposition MLAs said they did not trust the government. Finally, the Speaker asked Vikhe-Patil to consult the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister to ensure that the money was disbursed to farmers in time.