Thursday, Jul 18, 2002
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Special Correspondent
The Opposition walkout came at the end of a heated exchange between the Opposition members and the Minister over alleged irregularities in the procurement exercise this time. The issue was raised in the form of a submission by K.P. Rajendran (CPI), who pointed out that the procurement price fixed by the Centre was not attractive. He also raised several allegations about the ongoing inquiry into the activities of certain societies involved in copra procurement in 2000-01.
The Minister explained that there was no irregularity in the procurement after the UDF came to power. The irregularities had taken place during 2000-01 when the LDF was in power. This had brought procurement to a standstill. The Centre had subsequently given clearance for procurement only in October, 2001. This resulted in the total quantity procured during the year being just 382 tonnes. This year, the Centre had fixed the procurement price at Rs. 4,600 a quintal for milling copra and Rs. 4,800 a quintal for ball copra and permitted procurement till July 31. The State, she said, had requested the Centre to raise the procurement price further.
Ms. Gouri said the High Court had ordered a CBI inquiry into the alleged irregularities in procurement during 2000-01 after the State Government informed the court that it had no objection to such an inquiry. She refuted the Opposition member's allegation that the file relating to the blacklisted societies had been suppressed by her office and said everybody knew where the file had gone and how it had gone. She also complained that some files that she herself had not seen were shown by a private TV channel.
The Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, took strong exception to Ms. Gouri's remarks and said it was regrettable that the Minister had nothing to say about the Government's failure to secure a higher procurement price for copra. He alleged that the procurement process had been manipulated for the benefit of corrupt societies controlled by ruling parties. He also accused the Government of having allowed Rs. 300 crores sanctioned by the Centre through theNational Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) for copra procurement last year. The Minister, he said, had misled the House.
After the Opposition walkout, the Minister said it was not correct to say that the Government was not doing anything to help the coconut growers. She said the Government had submitted a Rs. 360-crore project proposal to the Centre with the objective of providing better quality seedlings and other support services to the coconut growers. She also pointed out that not a single complaint had been raised about the societies involved in procurement after the UDF came to power.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of