More than the promises, it’s there tardy implementation that is hurting the rural population more
Today’s Paper : All along the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, a couple of things stood out during my two-day trip to the region in the midst of the state-wide farmers’ agitation.
First, unlike our common perception, farmers today are highly informed and well versed of their rights, government schemes and programmes and therefore will not shy away from claiming their due be it from the district administration, state or Centre.
The agitation that spread across Madhya Pradesh and has been gathering strength since June 1 is also on account of many unfulfilled promises of both the Central and State governments.
More than the promises, it’s there tardy implementation that is hurting the rural population more.
Central and state schemes look good on paper but when it comes to actual implementation many things are still riddled with inefficiency and corruption.
In fact, as a farmer told Business Standard, the Central government has enhanced the allocation for building houses under the Prime Minister’s Rural Housing Scheme from Rs 75,000 per unit to over Rs 125,000 per unit, but the local patwari or other block official demand a cut before approving the unit for central allocation.
It is here that the role of local administration and officials become important.
How the schemes or programmes or announcements can be of best use unless implementation of issues are addressed remains to be seen.
It is in this perspective that the Madhya Pradesh’s government’s recent announcement of banning purchase of any agriculture produce whose Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been determined by the Centre or state government in mandis should be seen.
The state government on Monday announced that all farm produce whose MSP has been determined by the Central government and the procurement process is on in mandis can’t be sold below MSP.
And in commodities where there is no procurement, the farm produce will have be sold at the maximum rate at determined through an open auction system.
The state also instructed all mandis to file a report with district agriculture marketing board if any farm produce is being sold below MSP for two consecutive dates.
This incidentally, also includes onion, where there is no Minimum Support Price (MSP). The state has also directed the mandi samitis to relax the quality parameters for procurement of farm produce. | READMORE…