Guwahati, May 29: The northeastern states are lagging behind in submitting utilisation certificates of funds released under the centrally-sponsored schemes in the agri-horticulture sector.
This came to light during a review meeting of the agri-horticulture sector in five northeastern states – Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya – held here on Monday. It was chaired by Union minister of state for agriculture and farmers’ welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Assam agriculture minister Atul Bora, Nagaland agriculture minister G. Kaito Aye and senior central and state government officials attended the meeting.
Joint secretary (marketing) in the department of agriculture, cooperation and farmers welfare (DAC&FW), Government of India, P.K. Swain, said Meghalaya has not yet furnished utilisation certificates for funds released to it under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
In Nagaland, Swain said the mission’s progress in 2015-16 was not satisfactory and many utilisation certificates were pending.
In Assam, utilisation certificates for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are pending, he added. Assam is yet to submit utilisation certificates for Rs 136.39 crore released in 2017-18, Rs 35.84 crore released in 2016-17 and Rs 61 lakh released in 2015-16.
On soil health card scheme, Neerja Adidam, joint secretary, integrated nutrient management, DAC&FW, said, “One year of the second cycle of the scheme has ended but there is little progress (in the five northeastern states). The second cycle will end in May 2019.
In the first year of the second cycle, only 54cards were distributed against a target of 54,649 in Arunachal Pradesh, 49,968 cards were distributed against a target of 7,70,484 in Assam, 50,670 cards were distributed against a target of 1,04,781 in Meghalaya and 38,000 cards were distributed against a target of 92,399 in Nagaland.
Moreover, no state from the Northeast is yet linked with the electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM).
Except Sikkim, none of the states have undertaken the mandatory reforms, including adoption of model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act. Sikkim has not submitted the detailed project report for integrating with the e-NAM platform.
The e-NAM is a pan-India portal for the sale and purchase of agricultural produce in an efficient and transparent manner.
“Today (Monday), I asked chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to adopt the model act and he said it would be done in the coming Assembly session,” Shekhawat said.
Shekhawat inaugurated the State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute at Khanapara here on Monday. (TTNE)