TUMAKURU: Union Minister of State for Agriculture Shobha Karandlaje on Wednesday clarified that the state government should open a joint account with the Centre in order to get grants for drought relief and other works as mandated by Niti Aayog.
She said this in response to Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara’s statement that the centre has not released funds to take up drought relief works despite several pleas from the state.
Inaugurating a copra procurement centre of National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) at the APMC yard here, Shobha said Dr Parameshwara insisted for central grants to tackle drought. But the state should have a joint account with the centre for any project with a fund sharing ratio of 60:40. Whichever state opens such an account will get the centre’s share immediately. The union finance minister has also stated this.
The state and union governments should work together keeping aside politics. The centre will support the states in terms of development projects, she added.
She said the centre has fixed Rs 12,000 as the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for a quintal of ball copra, but the state gave only Rs 1,500 as ex-gratia. Procurement will be done for 90 days between February and April. If needed, it will be extended further for the benefit of farmers. The farmers should make use of the opportunity.
Edible oil demand
The Union minister pointed out that the country could meet only 20% of the demand for edible oil. Coconut farmers should work towards increasing copra production, she said.
Dr Parameshwara promised that he will help farmers get Rs 2,000 as ex-gratia per quintal of copra after speaking to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
MP GS Basavaraju appealed to the centre to increase the MSP to Rs 15,000 per quintal of ball copra.
Never thought of contesting from Tumakuru: Minister
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Shobha Karandlaje on Wednesday clarified that she will contest from Udupi-Chikkamagaluru constituency in the coming Lok Sabha elections. “I have contested and won from Udupi-Chikkamagaluru and will again contest from the same constituency. There will be no change in the constituency. I never thought of contesting from Tumakuru,” she told reporters in Tumakuru. There were speculations of Shobha switching her constituency. Even sitting MP GS Basavaraju had stated that she is likely to be the BJP-JDS alliance candidate for Tumakuru.