Cong: Odisha govt mocking farmers’
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.