Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 2:
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today pulled up Odisha Government for its inability to spend the central assistance given to the state under various schemes including National Horticulture Mission.
Singh, who was in Bhubaneswar today to attend a function on World Coconut Day, said that Odisha Government has been unable to spend Rs 4.15 crore out of the Rs 54.45 crore given by the Center last year for development of horticulture in the state.
“We have this scheme named National Horticulture Mission that facilitates assistance to states. Out of the assistance extended last year, almost Rs 5 crore went unspent. I have urged the government to expedite the work and at least spend the assistance extended this year. Our farmers will not be able to make progress if the state governments do not spend the annual grants extended to them,” said Singh speaking to reporters after the event.
On his part, Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy sought time to look into the issue.
“The union ministers who visit Odisha always say that we have not been able to spend the Central assistance. They keep claiming that we have not been able submit the usage certificate and have sent the money back. In this case, I will not be able to say if his claims are fact-based. I will look into the allegation directly and then comment,” said Maharathy.
It may be noted here that Odisha is likely to receive Rs 49.91 crore from the Centre for the mission this year. Out of this, Rs 26.83 crore has already been issued to the state under National Horticulture Mission that works under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).