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Mumbai: Finalisation of the Maharashtra Agriculture Census, the cornerstone of policy decisions of the state government, has stalled because some officials have not filled up data, a revenue officer on Sunday said. He said that a section of talathis (village-level revenue officials) had not filled up data for eight districts in the state. This has halted the finalisation of the census which should have been ready, as per schedule, by June last year, the official informed.

“There has been no inputs from Thane, Amravati, Buldana, Yavatmal, Aurangabad, Sangli, Ratnagiri and Chandrapur districts,” the official said. “The census comprises information such as number of farmers, categories of farmers according to their land holding, the cropping pattern, state of the agricultural infrastructure of every region and the like,” he explained.

The agriculture census is prepared every five years and the official said that this delay would not only affect the state but also the Centre as the latter bases its policies on census inputs received from the states. Officials said that the delay comes despite the state government coming up with time-saving data templates in 2015 for the census. “The simplified format greatly saved on time while making data entries. However talathis have not filed it in these districts as they have some demands pending with the government,” he said.

Dnyandev Dubal, chairman of Maharashtra State Talathi Mahasangh, however, deflected the blame by saying that preparing the census was the responsibility of the Agriculture department. Dubal said, “Talathis were only asked to complete digitisation of revenue documents including 7/12 receipts. The census work is to be done by the agriculture department. None of the issues we have raised with the government have been addressed.”

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