Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh has urged the North Eastern states to accelerate implementing schemes for farmers where the Centre is providing 90 per cent funds to help double their income by 2022. The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare lambasted the Meghalaya government which has allegedly failed to implement the schemes properly and did not submit Utilisation Certificates in Central programmes. “Ninety per cent assistance is being given to North-East states and they, including Meghalaya, should accelerate implementation of these schemes,” Singh said addressing a farmers’ fair at Umiam near here yesterday. He said the government has initiated various programmes for the welfare of the people living in rural areas, especially the farmers, by improving the current farming process and thereby doubling their income from agriculture and allied sectors by 2022. “The state governments should act to ensure that employment generation in farming sector is continued to retain the youth in agriculture,” he said. On Meghalaya, Singh said the state government should utilise the amount allocated under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. “The state has failed to spend the funds amounting to over Rs 50 lakh allotted for micro-irrigation under Per Drop More Crop scheme and was lying unused for four years,” he alleged.
During 2015-16, Rs 1.44 crore was given to Meghalaya for water management and water harvesting and the government could not spend the amount in that year, he claimed. In the following year, the state was unable to spend Rs 32 lakh and for 2017-18, the state has Rs 2.2 crore and expenditure report has not been submitted to the Centre, the minister said. During 2015-17, he said, Rs 44 lakh was allocated to the state for Soil Health Card and 2.09 lakh Cards have been distributed. This year another Rs 53 lakh has been allocated.
Expressing regret, the union minister said expenditure certificate of the Rs 1.59 crore allocated under Mission Organic during 2016-17 was yet to be submitted. Funds allocated under Oilseeds and Oil Palm Mission for 2014-16 was lying unutilised, he said.