Uproar in Bihar Assembly over diesel subsidy

Last Updated: Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 21:50

Patna: The Bihar Assembly on Thursday witnessed
uproarious scenes with opposition MLAs alleging irregularities
in distribution and non-payment of subsidy on diesel to
farmers in 26 districts declared drought-hit.

Replying to a question, Agriculture Minister Renu
Kushwaha said the state government had decided to pay subsidy
of Rs 300 per acre on diesel to farmers which was being paid
through gram panchayats and the state government had no role
in it.

When several opposition MLAs, including Rai, Ramdeo
Verma, Shakeel Ahmed Khan and Ramchandra Purve wanted to know
the details of utilisation of funds for subsidy, the Minister
said gram panchayats were providing it in cash to farmers on
presentation of receipts for purchase of diesel.

She said the state government had allocated around Rs
300 crore for distribution of subsidy of which Rs 49.5 crore
had been utilised.

Khan and the others, however, were dissatisfied and
demanded a probe by a house committee.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the gram panchayats
were responsible for distribution of subsidy and the state
government would act on specific complaints about non-payment
of subsidy to farmers.

The Chief Minister asked the members to calm down and
make suggestions for effective utilisation of government funds
on this head for farmers.

The House once again witnessed an uproar when
opposition members, including Khan alleged highhandedness by
state Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) director
Rajesh Kumar against a Dalit official M K Choudhary.

When the members demanded constitution of a House
panel to probe the `misconduct` of the ICDS director, Speaker
U N Choudhary assured them of personally looking into the
matter.

Earlier, Health Minister N K Yadav informed the house
that the allegations against the ICDS director were being
looked into by Chief Secretary Anoop Mukherjee, who had
sought an explanation from Kumar on the basis of a report from
the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 21:50

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