Category Archive Public Policies

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Model Agriculture Land Leasing Act 2016

Background
The fear of losing right, title and ownership over one’s own land by leasing out, discourages the land owners even when they are themselves unable to cultivate to lease out their parcels of land. This is the cause behind substantive extent of land remaining fallow. The State Revenue laws provide for right to ownership by proving adverse possession for a certain period as prescribed by the actual tiller. The census 2011 reveals, that the extent of lease in the country is around 6 per cent. In the absence of a legal provision back-stopping such leasing, most of it is oral and therefore does not entitle the lessee to claim the status of a farmer and access various benefits available fro m the government and credit institutions.
It is further known, that a lot of land remains fallow for many do not opt to offer their piece of land on oral lease. It is, therefore, necessary that lease is legally recognised by enacting a suitable law. However, it should explicitly and emphatically protect the interests of the land owner, in supersession of any other provision of law that may be in force.
The Model Land Lease Act, 2016 prepared and approved by the NITI Aayog offers an appropriate template for the states and UTs to draft their own piece of legislations, in consonance with the local requirements and adopt an enabling Act.
Statement of Objects and Reasons
An Act to permit and facilitate leasing of agricultural land, to improve agricultural efficiency and equity, access to land by the landless and semi – landless poor, occupational diversity and for accelerated rural growth and transformation; provide recognition to farmers cultivating agricultural land on lease for enabling them to access loans through credit institutions, insurance, disaster relief and other support services provided by Government, while protecting fully the land rights of the owners; and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Whereas, the prohibitions and restrictions under existing state laws governing agricultural land leasing forced the landowners and lessee cultivators to have informal agreements only for cultivating the land and thereby depriving the lessee cultivators of the benefits which are normally due to them, the existing laws also create insecurity among landowners to lease – out agricultural land which reduces the access to land by the landless poor, small and marginal farmers and others by way of leasing.
Main Features of Act

  1. Legalise land leasing to promote agricultural efficiency, equity and power reduction. This will also help in much needed productivity improvement in agriculture as well as occupational mobility of the people and rapid rural change.
  2. This is very important step for land reforms through which needs of landlord as well as lease holder have been taken care.
  3. Through this act, the landlord can legally lease the land with mutual consent for agriculture and allied activities. In this act, it has been taken care that in any circumstances the leased holders’ claim on land will not be valid.
  4. Lease holder may receive institutional loan, insurance and disaster relief so that he may invest more and more in agriculture.
  5. Allow automatic resumption of land after the agreed lease period without requiring any minimum area of land to be left with the tenant even after termination of tenancy, as laws of some states require.
  6. Incentivise tenants to make investment in land improvement and also entitle them to get back the unused value of investment at the time of termination of tenancy.
  7. In order to resolve the dispute between the landlord and lease holder, the provision of “Special Land Tribunal” has been made in the Civil Court.

 
To access the complete Act, click here.
Source: Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare

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Ease of doing agribusiness Index

like ease of doing business, Central government is trying to come up with an index to measure performance of states on supporting agribusiness. here while, the concept notes talks about farmer as entrepreneur, much of the indicators considered to be measured are to process indicators and outcomes are not measured. for example it talks about implementation of market reforms as suggested by centre and not the prices farmers accrued as a result of the reforms.
there is a need to rework on these indices and probably develop an independent one.
here is the press release
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=188052
http://www.agricoop.nic.in/sites/default/files/Concept_Note.pdf

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PM AASHA

Cabinet approves New Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA)
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=183409
PM-AASHA will provide MSP assurance to farmers A reflection of Government’s commitment to the “Annadata”
Giving a major boost to the pro-farmer initiatives of the Government and in keeping with its commitment and dedication for the Annadata, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA).  The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
This is an unprecedented step taken by Govt. of India to protect the farmers’ income which is expected to go a long way towards the welfare of farmers.  Government has already increased the MSP of kharif crops by following the principle of 1.5 times the cost of production. It is expected that the increase in MSP will be translated to farmer’s income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with the State Governments.
Components of PM-AASHA:
The new Umbrella Scheme includes the mechanism of ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers and is comprised of

  • Price Support Scheme (PSS),
  • Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
  • Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS).

The other existing schemes of Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) for procurement of paddy, wheat and nutri-cereals/coarse grains and of Ministry of Textile for cotton and jute will be continued for providing MSP to farmers for these crops.
Cabinet has also decided that participation of private sector in procurement operation needs to piloted so that on the basis of learnings the ambit of private participation in procurement operations may be increased. Therefore in addition to PDPS.
It has been decided that for oilseeds, states have the option to roll out Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS) on pilot basis in selected district/APMC(s) of district involving the participation of private stockiest. The pilot district/selected APMC(s) of district will cover one or more crop of oilseeds for which MSP is notified. Since this is akin to PSS, in that in involves physical procurement of the notified commodity, it shall substitute PSS/PDPS in the pilot districts.
The selected private agency shall procure the commodity at MSP in the notified markets during the notified period from the registered farmers in consonance with the PPSS Guidelines, whenever the prices in the market fall below the notified MSP and whenever authorized by the state/UT government to enter the market and maximum service charges up to 15% of the notified MSP will be payable.
Expenditure:
The Cabinet has decided to give additional government guarantee of Rs.16,550 crore making it Rs. 45,550 crore in total.
In addition to this, budget provision for procurement operations has also been increased and Rs. 15,053 crore is sanctioned for PM-AASHA implementation. The scheme henceforth is a reflection of Government’s commitment and dedication to our ‘Annadata’.
Procurement over the years:
During financial years 2010-14 total procurement was Rs. 3500 crore only whereas during financial years 2014-18, it has risen 10 times and reached to Rs. 34,000 crore. For procurement of these agri-commodities during 2010-14, Government Guarantee of Rs. 2500 crore was provided with expenditure of only Rs. 300 crore; while during 2014-18, Guarantee  amount has been increased to Rs. 29,000 crore  with expenditure of Rs. 1,000 crore.
Details:
Government of India is working with the holistic approach of solving any issue rather than in fragments. Increasing MSP is not adequate and it is more important that farmers should get full benefit of the announced MSP. For this, government realizes that it is essential that if price of the agriculture produce market is less than MSP, then in that case State Government and Central Government should purchase either at MSP or work in a manner to provide MSP for the farmers through some other mechanism. With this approach, Cabinet has approved the Umbrella Scheme of PM-AASHA with three sub-schemes i.e. Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PDPS).
In Price Support Scheme (PSS), physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and Copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies with proactive role of State governments. It is also decided that in addition to NAFED, Food Cooperation of India (FCI) will take up PSS operations in states /districts. The procurement expenditure and losses due to procurement will be borne by Central Government as per norms.
Under Price Deficiency Payment Scheme this scheme (PDPS), it is proposed to cover all oilseeds for which MSP is notified. In this direct payment of the difference between the MSP and the selling/modal price will be made to pre-registered farmers selling his produce in the notified market yard through a transparent auction process. All payment will be done directly into registered bank account of the farmer. This scheme does not involve any physical procurement of crops as farmers are paid the difference between the MSP price and Sale/modal price on disposal in notified market. The support of central government for PDPS will be given as per norms.
Pro-farmer initiatives of the Government:
The Government is committed to realizing the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.  The emphasis is on enhancing productivity, reducing cost of cultivation and strengthening post-harvesting management, including market structure.  Several market reforms have been initiated.  These include Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act, 2017 and Model Contract Farming and Services Act, 2018.  Many States have taken steps to adopt these through legislation.
Efforts are on for a new market architecture, so as to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices on their produce. These include setting up of Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) so as to promote 22,000 number of retail markets in close proximity of farm gate; competitive and transparent wholesale trade at APMC through eNAM and a robust and pro-farmer export policy.
Besides, several other pro-farmers’ initiatives such as implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri KrishiSinchai Yojana, ParamparagatKrishi Vikas Yojana and distribution of Soil Health Cards have been undertaken.  The commitment for farmer welfare is also reflected by unprecedented decision of announcing minimum support price based on the formula of 1.5 times the cost of cultivation.

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The Downside of Repeated Debt Waivers

The Downside of Repeated Debt Waivers

Debt waivers are supposed to help farmers make agricultural investments, repay future debts and tackle any other situation. But the history of waivers in India tells a different tale.

Credit: PTI

Credit: PTI

India is facing an agrarian crisis. There is no doubt that the majority of the small and marginal farmers are indebted. According to the Reserve Bank of India, the amount of outstanding loans given out for agricultural and allied activities by the regional rural banks has increased from Rs 1.80 billion in 1980-81 to Rs 1329.67 billion in 2015-16. According to the 2009 India Human Development Survey, the average outstanding loan for a household was above Rs 50,000. The most popular and yet most debated public policy response to tackle this problem of spiraling farm debts in India has been debt waiver programs.
The theoretical argument in support of debt waiver policies originated in the macroeconomic context of debt relief programs for low income countries. For instance, Bolivia received on average $614 million in foreign aid per year between 1998 and 2002 towards debt relief. These numbers went up further in recent years. Sachs, in his 1989 work, argues that a very high level of outstanding debt reduces the incentive for the debtor to exert effort to repay, a concept captured by the Debt Lafer Curve. Krugman shows that in such a situation a policy of debt forgiveness could induce the optimal level of effort from the debtor and maximise repayment. A similar logic can be borrowed in a microeconomic setting like the agricultural loan waivers. Farmers who run into huge debts, due to uncertainties associated with agriculture, are less likely to be able to come out of the debt trap without any help from outside. Debt waivers are supposed to help the farmer come out of the unforeseen situation, make agricultural investments and be able to repay future debts. The problem arises though, when we consider the specific history of farm loans waivers in India.
A typical agricultural loan contract in India uses land as collateral, which are freed once the loans are repaid. Loan waivers protect households from confiscation of their land by credit institutions in case of default. Effectively, the practice of repeated loan waivers, announced in the wake of state level elections, have contributed towards shaping an expectation among farmers about government intervention to free up their collateral in case of default. This has led to a loss of credibility in the enforcement of loan contracts between the farmers and the banks. The hope for future loan waivers is likely to have generated incentives among farmers to utilise agricultural loans for unproductive purposes and adversely affect agricultural investments.
While the debate regarding efficacy of loan waivers has gained momentum in recent times, agricultural loan waiver programs have been around for a while in India. In 1990, Prime Minister V.P. Singh announced a waiver of up to Rs 10,000 for agricultural loans per household. It cost the government Rs 100 billion to complete the waiver and it took the banks, involved in the scheme, nine years to recover the funds from the government. In the same year, the then chief minister of Haryana, Devi Lal, announced a Rs 2275 million waiver for both cooperative and commercial bank loans. In 2008, the UPA government announced one of the largest debt waiver schemes in the history of India, the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme (ADWDRS). ADWDRS became the most prominent waiver program, at least partly because of its size – a massive Rs 716 billion. It also served as a precursor to the series of state level waiver schemes that followed. In November 2011, the Samajwadi Party government announced a debt waiver of Rs 17.20 billion for Uttar Pradesh, while the Andhra Pradesh (TDP party) and Telengana (TRS party) governments came up with their own waiver packages of Rs 240 billion and Rs 170 billion respectively in 2014-15. In 2016, the AIDMK party announced its waiver package of Rs 57.8 billion for Tamil Nadu as part of its election manifesto. Despite having the second largest fiscal deficit last year, when the BJP won the elections in UP, the state once again had a debt waiver package ready to be implemented. The BJP’s electoral manifesto had committed to write off loans of small and marginal farmers, which would approximately cost the government Rs 370 billion. The states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are also in the pipeline to announce their own loan waiver packages, taking the cumulative loan waiver amount in the year 2016-17 to approximately Rs 3200 billion, equivalent to 2.6% of the country’s GDP.
Despite large sums of money being spent on these programs, little is known about their effectiveness. Are they really helping the farmer increase their productivity and pull them out of the debt trap?
Uttar Pradesh debt waiver scheme
To understand how potential beneficiary households respond to repeated waiver programs, we evaluated the UP Rin Maafi Yojana (UPRMY) announced in recent research (Chakraborty and Gupta 2017). Under UPRMY, a household qualified for a waiver based on the amount of loan borrowed and repaid. A timeline of the roll out of the waiver program can be seen in Figure 1.
 

Figure 1: Map depicting phased implementation of the UPRMY
Under the UPRMY, approximately Rs 1700 crore was disbursed as debt relief covering approximately 7.3 lakh farmers from 74 districts. The program was rolled in a phased manner over a period of three years from 2012-2015. About 42 districts received the relief package in 2012-13. In 28 districts, the program roll out happened in 2013-14. The remaining four districts received the waiver in 2014-15. Figure 2 tells an interesting story. Irrespective of which district received the waiver in which year, repayment rates fell dramatically right after the announcement of the waiver program, across all districts of UP. The average rate fell from 25%-50% in 2010-11 (pre-announcement) to 10%-25% in 2011-12 (post-announcement).

Consumption and investment behaviour of eligible vs. non-eligible households
We analyse the change in household behavior following the UPRMY using primary data collected in 2015 from 5,270 individuals in 770 households across six districts of UP. The districts were chosen to include regions from different phases of the program roll-out. Auraiya and Kanpur Dehat received the waiver in 2012-13. Agra and Firozabad received the waiver in 2013-14. We also include Lakhimpur, the only district that did not receive the waiver at the time of data collection and Sitapur, which received the waiver in 2012-13 and is adjacent to Lakhimpur. In each district a household qualifies for loan waiver if it had borrowed an agricultural loan of up to Rs 50,000 from the UP Gramin Vikas Bank. Further, the household was required to have repaid at least 10% of the borrowed amount on or before the programme announcement date.
Table 1: Household Behaviour In Response to UPRMY

Variable Received Loan Waiver Not- Received Loan Waiver
Consumption 41479 32728
Productivity 29397 38690
Income 52623 59051

Note: Consumption, is the yearly consumption expenditure in rupees; Income, is the annual income of a household; Productivity refers to the value of total production over farm size.
The average consumption value of households that received the loan waiver is roughly Rs 41,000, much higher than those of households who did not receive the waiver. This is in spite of the fact that the households that did not receive the loan waiver had a higher income and a higher level of agricultural productivity.
We delve deeper in to this apparent evidence of moral hazard using more rigorous statistical techniques. We compare differences in consumption and investment decisions between potentially eligible and not eligible households in districts that received the waiver vis-à-vis the differences between potentially eligible and not eligible households in districts that did not receive the waiver.
Our findings suggest that eligible households in districts that received the waiver had higher consumption expenditure, approximately by Rs 8,000 per year, as compared to non-eligible households. What is of greater concern is that eligible households also tend to spend significantly more on social events such as weddings, family occasions and so on. In addition, we find that eligible households had no significant productivity gain as a result of receiving the debt waiver compared to non-eligible households. Given that households in the same districts face similar agricultural shocks the insignificant productivity difference between eligible and not-eligible groups suggests a failure of the program to achieve its desired goals.
Rethinking policy interventions
Eligibility of households for loan waiver frees them up from debts and builds expectations of future credit availability. Consequently, the need to arrange for debt repayment falls. In other words, our results indicate, repeated debt waiver program have led to willful defaults. Farmers borrow from banks for agricultural investment but do not undertake the investment. Instead they use up the loan for consumption and are unable to repay the debt in the future. These findings, coupled with Figure 2 suggest that blanket waiver schemes lead households to stop repaying debts irrespective of their waiver eligibility status. This could be detrimental for the financial sustainability of this line of policy. It is important to note, however, that our findings do not speak against loan waiver programs altogether. Rather they warn against implementation of loan waiver programs based on simplistic eligibility rules that do not account for the actual needs of the farmers and the agricultural shocks they have faced. The agricultural sector in India is still vastly affected by scanty rainfall, poor irrigation facility and loans from private moneylenders with high rates of interest. A majority of the defaults could be a genuine disability to pay back due any of these reasons. However, a more thorough understanding is required regarding the effectiveness of different interventions. An alternate policy to explore is agricultural insurance which has seen an extremely low take up rate from farmers so far.
Tanika Chakraborty is assistant professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, on leave from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Aarti Gupta, an angel investor by profession, has a Phd in Economics from IIT Kanpur, with her doctoral thesis on Loan Waivers in India.

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Three years of Telangana Agriculture

170603 Total Sown area, Production estimates of major crops
Review of Telangana Agricultre 2014-2017

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Telangana Cooperatives Act 2016

The Andhra Pradesh Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies Act, 1995 came in response to an understanding  in the state government, that the policy and legislative environment for investment sensitive, investor owned and controlled business was being increasingly opened, while usage-sensitive, user owned and controlled business continue to be very tightly controlled. In order for rural producers and others to engage with labour, financial, commodity markets effectively, it was understood that disadvantages communities needed a more liberal cooperative law.
However, the G.O.28 significantly takes away the spirit of autonomy available in the AP Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies Act, 1995. The G.O. assuming that cooperatives as “peoples” institutions – Cooperatives are not peoples’ organisations; they are their members’ institutions. The GO restores some of the key provisions to the department of cooperation (excluded in APMACS Act 1995) that have been used over decades to control cooperatives. These provisions include:

  1. The Government is competent authority to make provisions, from time to time, take necessary steps for making provisions with respect to the incorporation, regulation and winding up of co-operative societies based on the principle of voluntary formation, democratic member control, member economic participation and autonomous functioning as deemed necessary – which goes against the spirit of the right to form cooperatives. The bylaws of the cooperative could be compulsorily amended, again, even against the general body’s resolution to the contrary. Earlier this provision was almost always used to exempt the government or the registrar from fulfilling responsibility, such as the timely conduct of elections, audit.
  2. The powers given to the Registrar for registration and renewals which is against the spirit of the right to form cooperative. If Cooperatives are filing returns, it is the responsibility of registrar to verify and take measures at their level. Why do they go for renewal? The department as well as cooperatives would develop a vested interest.
  3. Admission of members and removal from membership and intimation to Registrar within 30 days: Government can make effort to ensure that the registrar would play its role in enable the cooperatives, and then regulate only where regulation was imperative. But keeping these types of provisions would undermine the functions and role of the management of cooperative societies.
  4. Size and term of the Board: The 1995 Act has sought, through this provision, to prevent to the extent possible, any vacuum in management, which has been experienced under the 1964 Act, to bring in the dreaded “Person-in-Charge” for the interregnum. By having less than half the directors retiring at any time, the 1995 Act has tried to ensure that there is always a quorum, and a democratically elected body is in position.
  5. Functional directors in the Board: Coopt persons as the functional directors to the Boards of cooperatives, and resolutions of the board could be annulled, if the nominated directors were uncomfortable with them. This means, all the cooperatives are in the hands of “professionals”. These people will have influence on decision making of the board without having membership responsibilities, ownership on the affairs of cooperative, accountability and liability of financial results of the cooperatives
  6. Conduct of elections: Based on experience, It is simply not possible for any third party to organize elections to all tiny and large cooperatives when their elections fall due.  It is also not possible for them to print ballot papers with specific symbols chosen by candidates of each cooperative – the result is that ballot papers are printed en mass; common election dates are fixed for similar type of cooperatives; the fixing of common dates requires the deliberate withholding of elections where those have become due, for ease of management by the external party; politicisation takes place as media and parties begin to get involved in the results of a large number of cooperatives going to elections on the same day. In fact, the cost of elections shoots up as centralized printing, security arrangements, TA/DA of officers, etc, are all to be borne by the cooperatives. Further, centralized elections reinforce the misconception that cooperatives are state agencies.
  7. It is responsibility of every cooperative society to conduct member education programs based on their activities, need and importance. What way TSCU is concerned about it. Who will bear the certification cost? Who is benefiting from this clause???
  8. All amendments to bye-laws require registration in this GO. The company law requires registration only to changes in the memorandum (which provides the ‘identify’ of a company). Amendments to articles only required filing of the amendment for record. This is why, in the 1995 Act, amendments to only key provisions were listed for registration- the rest were to be sent for taking on record only.
  9. Registrar’s role to fix the staffing pattern, qualifications, pay scales and other allowances to the employees of the society; this will undermine  functions & role of management. If registrar is involved, staff of cooperatives, feel more privileged in society than accountable to the cooperatives that they work with.
  10. Supersession of the Board and appoint the official Administrator(s) to manage the affairs of the society: Elections to cooperatives were not their own business – they are conducted by the registrar, under government fiat. Where other provisions had rendered the cooperative impotent in its business, provisions related to elections made the cooperative a potent political instrument in the hands of the party in governance, for accommodating party workers who could not be made legislators. Elections were withheld for years in most states, and often held under court directions.Elected boards could be superseded by the government/registrar on any  number of times either for serious or frivolous charges, based on ‘the opinion of the registrar’. In this case, restraining the board for not conducting elections on time as per their bye-laws is contradicting.
  11. Dissolution by Registrar: A  cooperative is a creature of its members, and, therefore, it provides for the members to choose not to continue their association with one another, to dissolve their cooperative.
  12. Settlement of disputes by registrar: If the registering authority is given the right to unilaterally dissolve a cooperative on any of these counts, as such right may lead to unhealthy practices.

In the 1995 Act, the approach was to ensure that the department would not develop a vested interest in cooperatives, even while it had some core corrective measures in its hands. The effort was to ensure that it would play the role of registration, and then regulate only where regulation was imperative, and that these functions would not be undermined by any management role.
Download

  1. 160601 Letter to Commissioner for Co-operation & Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Govt. of Telangana
  2. 2016AGLC_MS28
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One year of Telangana Government

A review by Wadha na todo abhyayan
1

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Delhi’s organic farming shocker: Data a load of manure

Mail Today Bureau   |   Mail Today  |   New Delhi, March 26, 2015 | UPDATED 06:03 IST


According to the state department, there is hardly any activity of organic farming on Delhi’s land . It claims it gets no subsidy for for organic farmers.Believe it or not, almost 70 per cent of the national Capital was used for organic farming in 2011-2012, according to National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF), which comes under the Ministry of Agriculture. While the total geographical area of Delhi is 1.48 lakh hectares, NPOF data shows 100238.74 hectares (almost twice the size of Mumbai) was used for organic farming during that period.
What smacks of data fudging and a gigantic scam took place between 2009 and 2012 when the Sheila Dikshit government was in power in Delhi and Congress-led UPA ruled at the Centre. As per the central government scheme, a subsidy of Rs.10,000 per hectare of land is given to a farmer for organic farming. Hence, Rs.100-crore plus subsidies in 2011-12 were given by the Union government for organic farming in the national Capital for 100238.74 hectares. And Delhi, on paper, produced 4,765 tonnes of organic products in 2009. The state of Assam produced 2,329 tonnes. In other words, urban Delhi’s output of organic products was 100 per cent higher than that of Assam. The scam was exposed by the Crop Care Foundation of India (CCFI) through an RTI.
When MAIL TODAY asked the Ministry of Agriculture if indeed such gigantic tract of land inside Delhi has been used for organic farming or if the national capital is such a big producer of organic vegetables, we got no answers. Neither did the Commerce Ministry which is in charge of export of organic products come up with any answers. Both ministries passed the buck and pointed fingers at each other.
The Delhi Agriculture department says there is hardly any organic farming done in Delhi. “There is no awareness about organic farming in Delhi. We don’t get any specific data on such farming from the government. Neither do we get any subsidy,” an official from the department told MAIL TODAY. Delhi agriculture department records show 30,922 hectares of land were used for overall agricultural activities in Delhi in 2011-12. Agriculture activity in Delhi takes place only on six blocks, out of which there is negligible farming in 50 per cent of the area. NPOF was introduced by the Congress-led UPA government during the 10th five-year plan as a central sector scheme with effect from 10 October, 2004, with an initial outlay of `57 crore for promotion of organic farming in India. Though introduced by the UPA government, the scheme continues till date with substantially enhanced budget.
Dr Krishan Chandra, Regional Director, National Center for Organic Farming (NCOF), Ministry of Agriculture, said: “Agriculture is a state subject. The Centre’s role is to help states monetarily so that they can take up organic farming. We have different schemes through which we help farmers by providing money to states. But there is no scope of organic farming in Delhi as there is meagre land available for any kind of farming. As far as subsidy is concerned, we give subsidy for the export of organic produce.” According to the data available with the Ministry of Agriculture, the annual export value of Agriorganic products for 2012-13 was Rs.1155.81 crore.
Dr Chandra said that on noticing major glitch in the data provided by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce, regarding organic farming in Delhi, he asked them for clarification.
“The data regarding land for organic farming is maintained by APEDA and not by our department. They said that earlier they used to enter the data manually but now they are doing it using computers. There may be some data manipulation as it is not possible to carry out such large-scale organic farming in Delhi,” said Chandra. “At times the state helps the farmer financially to carry out organic farming. Farmers furnish address details of the national capital, but the land is somewhere else. The responsibility to check such details furnished by farmers lies with the Commerce Ministry,” he said. Sources in the Agriculture Ministry said that there is a possibility of embezzlement of funds at the state level because who the beneficiaries would be are decided by the state.
The state agriculture department claims to have no information on organic farming in Delhi. “We don’t have any information,” said Kaushal Kishore, joint director, agriculture, Development department, Delhi government. Rajinder Chaudhry, Director (Media), Ministry of Commerce, said: “We are not aware about the disparity in data from other sources. The data provided by APEDA is sourced from TRACENET – a web-based traceability system operational under NPOP.”
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రాజధాని కి ముప్పై వేల ఎకరాలు అవసరమా?

Land Grab
హర్ష గజ్జారపు
a) ప్రపంచ అతి పెద్ద ప్రజాస్వామ్యం చిహ్నమయిన ‘భారతీయ ప్రలమెంటరీ భవనం’ కేవలం 9.8 ఎకరాల మొత్తం ప్రాంగణంలో కేవలం 6 ఎకరాలలో నిర్మించబడింది.
b) అగ్రరాజ్యం అమెరికాలోని ‘వైట్ హౌస్’ కుడా కేవలం 18 ఎకరాలలో నిర్మించబడింది.
c) హైదరాబాద్ లోని అసెంబ్లీ, సెక్రటేరియట్, MLA క్వాటర్ మరయు ఇతర అభికారుల భవానాలు అన్ని కలిపి కేవలం 250 ఎకరాలలో నిర్మించబడ్డాయి.
వీటినిబట్టి, కొత్త  నిర్మాణానికి అసలు “30,000 ఎకరాల భూమి” ఎందుకుకావాలి..??
30,000 ఎకారాలంటే, సుమారు 121 చదరపు కిలోమీటర్ల విస్తీర్ణత.
బెంగుళూరు లోని విధాన్ సౌధా, MLA క్వాటర్ మరయు రాజ్ భవన్ అన్ని కలిపి కేవలం 1.5 చదరపు కిలోమీటర్ల విస్తీర్ణతలో నిర్మించబడ్డాయి.
మరి, కొత్త రాజదానికి 30,000 ఎకారాలు (121 చదరపు కిలోమీటర్ల విస్తీర్ణత) భూములు అవసరమా.??
30,000 ఎకారాలు (121 చదరపు కిలోమీటర్ల విస్తీర్ణత) అంటే, అది విజయవాడ-గుంటూరు రెండు నగరాలను కలపగా వచ్చే విస్తీర్ణత కంటే ఎక్కువ!
దేనికోసం అంత భూమి.??
దానికి తోడు, ఆ పొలాల్లో నాలుగు పంటలు పండుతాయి.
ఆ భూముల్లో 20 అడుగుల్లోనే నీరు ఉంటుంది.
ఐదేళ్లుగా వర్షం పడకపోయినా, ఆ భూముల్లో బంగారం లాంటి పంటలు పండుతున్నాయి.
ఇటువంటి అమూల్యమైన వ్యవసాయ భూములను, రైతులనుండి లాక్కొని, వారికి నష్టం కలిగించేలా, వారి జీవనోపాధి దూరంచీసి, వారి భూములను రియల్ ఎస్టేట్ వ్యాపార-బిల్డర్లకు కట్టబెట్టడం, ‘ధర్మమా’..??

a) ప్రపంచ అతి పెద్ద ప్రజాస్వామ్యం చిహ్నమయిన 'భారతీయ ప్రలమెంటరీ భవనం' కేవలం 9.8 ఎకరాల మొత్తం ప్రాంగణంలో కేవలం 6 ఎకరాలలో…

Gajjarapu Sri Harsha ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಮಂಗಳವಾರ, ನವೆಂಬರ್ 4, 2014

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హామీ…మాఫీ

మోహన్ రుషి
ముఖ్యమంత్రిగా చంద్రబాబు అధికారం చేపట్టి ఐదు నెలలు పూర్తయింది. కానీ గెలవగానే తొలి సంతకం చేస్తానంటూ ఎన్నికల్లో ఆయనిచ్చిన హామీ మాత్రం ఇప్పటికీ నెరవేరలేదు. తమ పార్టీ గెలిస్తే రైతు రుణాలన్నీ మాఫీ చేస్తానని, తొలి సంతకం ఆ ఫైలుపైనే అని చెప్పిన చంద్రబాబు చేసిందేంటో తెలుసా?  ఎలా చేయాలో చెప్పండంటూ ఓ కమిటీని మాత్రం వేశారు. ఆ తరవాత మాఫీపై ఎన్ని మాయదారి ఫీట్లు వేశారో తెలుసా? అడుగడుగునా ఆంక్షలు విధించారు.
సాధ్యమైనంత ఎక్కువ మంది రైతులకు ప్రయోజనం కల్పించాల్సిన ముఖ్యమంత్రి… వీలైనంత ఎక్కువ మందిని ఈ మాఫీ పరిధి నుంచి తప్పించడానికి బోలెడంత కసరత్తు చేశారు. ఆ ఫీట్ల ఫలితమేంటో తెలుసా? రైతులకు ఇప్పటికీ ఒక్క రూపాయి మాఫీ కాలేదు. సరికదా… రాష్ట్రంలోని రైతులు, డ్వాక్రా మహిళలపై ఇప్పటికి దాదాపు 17,500 కోట్ల వడ్డీ భారం (16 నెలలకు) పడింది. రుణ మాఫీ విషయంలో ఏపీ సీఎం చంద్రబాబు మాయదారి ఫీట్ల తీరుతెన్నులు మీరే చూడండి…
బాబు ఏ సందర్భంలో ఏం చెప్పారో… తరవాత ఆ మాట ఎలా తప్పారో ఒక్కసారి చూస్తే…
►రైతులు, డ్వాక్రా మహిళల రుణాలన్నింటినీ మాఫీ చేస్తామని ఎన్నికల ముందు హామీ ఇచ్చారు. టీడీపీ ఎన్నికల ప్రణాళికలో కూడా ఇదే హామీని పొందు పరిచారు. ళీ ముఖ్యమంత్రిగా ప్రమాణం చేసిన వేదికపై రుణాలు మాఫీ చేస్తూ సంతకం పెట్టలేదు. రుణాల మాఫీ విధివిధానాల ఖరారు కోసం కోటయ్య కమిటీని ఏర్పాటు చేస్తూ ఆ ఫైలుపై సంతకం చేశారు.
►కోటయ్య కమిటీ నివేదిక ఇవ్వక ముందే మంత్రులు మాట్లాడుతూ.. రుణ మాఫీకి ఆధార్ లింక్ పెడతామన్నారు. ఆ తర్వాత లక్ష రూపాయల వరకే మాఫీ అన్నారు. మరోసారి లక్షన్నర వరకు మాఫీ అన్నారు. మరో మంత్రి బంగారంపై తీసుకున్న రుణాల మాఫీ సాధ్యం కాదని చెప్పేశారు.
►ఇక ముఖ్యమంత్రి జూన్ 22న కోటయ్య కమిటీతో నిర్వహించిన సమీక్షలో ‘రుణ మాఫీ తర్వాత చూద్దాం. ప్రస్తుతానికి గత ఖరీఫ్‌లో కరువు, తుపాను ప్రభావిత 575 మండలాల్లో రైతుల రుణాలను రీ షెడ్యూల్ చేయిద్దాం.
►ఆర్‌బీఐ గవర్నర్‌తో మాట్లాడండి..’ అంటూ ఆదేశించారు. ళీ జూన్ 29న రాష్ట్ర స్థాయి బ్యాంకర్ల కమిటీ సమావేశంలో వ్యవసాయ రుణాలు రూ.87,612 వేల కోట్లు, మహిళా సంఘాల రుణాలు రూ.14,204 వేల కోట్లు ఉన్నట్లు తేల్చారు. ళీ ఆర్‌బీఐ ఎగ్జిక్యూటివ్ డెరైక్టర్ రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వానికి లేఖ రాస్తూ రైతు రుణ బకాయిలను రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వం ఒకేసారి బ్యాంకులకు చెల్లిస్తే రుణ మాఫీకి అభ్యంతరం లేదన్నారు.
►కోటయ్య కమిటీ ఆర్‌బీఐతో రుణాల రీ షెడ్యూల్‌పై జరిపిన చ ర్చలు విఫలం అయ్యాయి. ఆర్‌బీఐ కేవలం నాలుగు జిల్లాల్లో 120 మండలాల్లోని పంట రుణాల రీ షెడ్యూల్‌కే అనుమతించింది.
►జూలై 21న కోటయ్య కమిటీ ముఖ్యమంత్రికి నివేదిక అందజేసింది. అదేరోజు చంద్రబాబు విలేకరులతో మాట్లాడుతూ ఈ ఏడాది మార్చి నెలాఖరు వరకు ఉన్న వ్యవసాయ రుణాలను మాఫీ చేస్తామని ప్రకటించారు. ఒక్కో కుటుంబానికి లక్షన్నర వరకు మాఫీ చేస్తామన్నారు. డ్వాక్రా సంఘాలకు మాఫీ చేయబోమని, మూల ధన సాయంగా ఒక్కో సంఘానికి లక్ష రూపాయల వరకు ఇస్తామని చెప్పారు.
►ఆగస్టు 14న మాఫీకి పలు ఆంక్షలు విధిస్తూ ఆర్థిక శాఖ మార్గదర్శకాలను జారీ చేసింది. గత ఏడాది డిసెంబర్ 31వ తేదీ వరకు తీసుకున్న పంట రుణాలు, బంగారం కుదవ పెట్టి తీసుకున్న వ్యవసాయ రుణాలు, ఆ రుణాలపై ఈ ఏడాది మార్చి వరకు అయ్యే వడ్డీ కలిపి ఒక్కో కుంటుంబానికి లక్షన్నర వరకు మాఫీ పరిధిలోకి వస్తాయని అందులో పేర్కొన్నారు.
►ఆర్థిక శాఖ తొలి మార్గదర్శకాలను సవరిస్తూ ఈ నెల 1న మరో జీవో జారీ అరుుంది. దాన్లోనూ గత ఏడాది డిసెంబర్ 31వ తేదీ వరకు తీసుకున్న రుణాలకు, అప్పటిదాకా వడ్డీకి మాత్రమే మాఫీ అంటూ వడ్డీలోనూ కోత పెట్టారు.
►23 అంశాలతో రూపొందించిన నమూనా పత్రంలో బ్యాంకులు రైతుల ఖాతాల వివరాలను రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వం రూపొందించిన ప్రత్యేక వెబ్‌సైట్‌కు అందజేయాలని పేర్కొన్నారు. ఆ గడువు ఈ నెల 1తో ముగిసింది. చివరకు బ్యాంకులు చచ్చీచెడీ మొత్తం డేటాను అందజేసినా… మాఫీకి అర్హులైన వారి జాబితాను ఇంకా ప్రకటించలేదు