Cong: Odisha govt mock­ing farm­ers’

The Asian Age - - Nation -

Odisha’s vet­eran Congress leader Ni­ran­jan Pat­naik on Satur­day flayed the de­ci­sion of the state gov­ern­ment for in­creas­ing the salary and al­lowances of the MLAs and min­is­ters be­fore pro­vid­ing any suc­cour to the dis­tressed farm­ers.

“When the farm­ers are in deep dis­tress the state gov­ern­ment has vir­tu­ally mocked at their plight by this de­ci­sion, which amounts to a clear case of con­flict of in­ter­est,” Mr Pat­naik al­leged.

“In the next three months the state gov­ern­ment will re­ceive nearly seven­teen thou­sand crore ru­pees from mine own­ers be­cause of the re­cent Supreme Court ver­dict to recover com­pen­sa­tion for il­le­gal min­ing of min­er­als. Since the law laid down by the SC is ap­pli­ca­ble to ex­cess min­ing in vi­o­la­tion of min­ing plan by the cen­tral pub­lic sec­tor unit Ma­hanadi Coal Field Lim­ited (MCL), the state gov­ern­ment will have an­other ad­di­tional thirty to forty thou­sand crore ru­pees. Be­sides, the auc­tion­ing of mines will add an­other few thou­sand crore ru­pees to the state ex­che­quer. So, the state gov­ern­ment should, in fact, plan a com­pre­hen­sive pack­age for the farm sec­tor with an out­lay of a min­i­mum of `1 lakh crore,” said Mr Pat­naik.

He ob­served that the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment which is spend­ing huge money on its bul­let train pro­ject, must pro­vide spe­cial pack­age for Odisha as part of its plan to de­velop east­ern In­dia.

“In­stead of help­ing farm­ers, the Odisha gov­ern­ment is now plan­ning to al­lo­cate money to be earned from the min­ing sec­tor for roads and bridges so as to earn per­cent­age (PC) from such works. This money be­longs to farm­ers and must be ploughed back to them and not passed on to a ca­bal of cor­rupt of­fi­cials, politi­cians and con­trac­tors flour­ish­ing un­der the rul­ing BJD’s pa­tron­age,” he said.

The gov­ern­ment is elected by farm­ers.

The Assem­bly should have first voted for a com­pre­hen­sive pack­age for farm­ers be­fore giv­ing min­is­ters and MLAs salary hike and pen­sion of ex-MLAs, he said.

On Wed­nes­day, the NaveenPat­naik had ap­proved a pro­posal to hike salaries and al­lowances of leg­is­la­tors and min­is­ters by a whop­ping 66 per cent.

As per the new, the Chief Min­is­ter’s re­vised emol­u­ments, in­clud­ing al­lowances, have been fixed at `98,000 as against `59,000 ear­lier. The Speaker’s re­vised emol­u­ments, in­clud­ing al­lowances, have been fixed at `97,500 as against `58,500 ear­lier.

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