In order to review the implementation of various Central schemes and the situation of drought in the country, Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of Agriculture has taken a review meeting in New Delhi today with Agricultural Production Commissioners and Principal Secretaries of all State.
The implementation of major schemes reviewed were Soil Health Card, Prampargat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Organic Farming), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana and National Agriculture Market.
In the review meeting. it was found that in Soil Health Card, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are lagging behind. Their officials were directed to activate the state agriculture machinery to collect samples and provide Soil Health Card to farmers in an accelerated manner. Karnataka has started no work in this scheme and has been directed to do so immediately. The minister reiterated that the scheme has to be executed by the States and their agriculture machinery and institutions such Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and State Agriculture Universities are supplementary to the efforts of the State governments.
Singh asked the State officials about their preparations to celebrate World Soil Day on December 5, 2015. The minister urged all the States to organise programmes at State, District, Block and Village level as well as KVKs and ICAR institutes on that day in which farmers would be provided Soil Health Cards and knowledge about the importance of soil health.
In PMKSY, Minister reviewed the financial and physical achievements made by the States. States such as Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have done well in terms of achieving physical and financial progress under the Scheme. Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern States have not taken the Central share in view of the 50:50 funding pattern. They were told that the new funding pattern it has been modified to 60:40 for States and 90:10 for the North Eastern States. Hence, they should take the Central share immediately. West Bengal has unspent balance since last four years. He directed that officials from our ministry should visit these States at the earliest and make sure that they are able to avail the benefits of the scheme. Singh urged all North Eastern States to submit their proposal in respect of new funding pattern of 90:10 today itself.
Secretary Water Resources also participated for PMKSY component under Water Resources Ministry and asked all the States to coordinate between agriculture and irrigation departments. Department of Land Resources and the Ministry of Rural Development also participated in the meeting which looks after the watershed component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister directed that State Governments should be written with respect to streamlining the release of funds citing examples of states whether there has been delay in release of funds.
For Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Organic Farming), States were asked to form clusters and promote organic farming. Several discussions have also been with respect to minimum numbers of farmers and area of land holdings to form the clusters.
Under National Agriculture Market, proposals have been received from the States Governments of Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand. The proposal of Gujarat has been recently sanctioned. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana were asked about the difficulty in sending their proposals.
With respect to drought condition, discussions were held with the States. Karnataka has been recently sanctioned Rs 1540 crore. For Chhatisgarh, Agriculture Ministry has recommended Rs 1387 crore. Presently, Central teams are visiting Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Memorandum has been received from UP and Orissa and teams are being sent immediately. Andhra Pradesh were urged by Agriculture Minister to send its memorandum as drought has been declared by the State. Further, other States like Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana affected by drought were also asked to submit their memorandum urgently.