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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 28 May 2024 12.13 AM IST

Misery for coconut farmers; Kerala ends up losing Rs 8.02 crore to central govt

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KOCHI: The Kerala government have not properly utilised the voluntary allowance allotted by the Central Coconut Development Board to coconut farmers in the state, who are through a difficult season. This happens at a time when the other south Indian states are strongly beseeching the central board and taking home crores of money to their farmers. Due to the inept work and flawed plans in utilizing money, the state had to return that already allotted Rs 8.02 crore to the central government.

The board had sent almost 50 letters to the state government inviting charted plans for the year 2023-24. The entitled officials in the agricultural office paid no heed to the repeated letter coming all the away from Delhi. Even the officials ignored the boards’ letter for the year 2024-25, which should have been submitted by March.

In the last five years, the state had only once prepared the plan and requested money. In all the other years, the state would approve the central letter and receive whatever the centre allows as an allowance to the farmers.

If the money is received, the officials should ensure that the plans are implemented within the required time. This requires some commitment and work rate which the officials loathe. It should have been the State Agricultural Production Commissioner's Office and the agricultural director’s office, that should have moved forward with the procedures.

The government now had to return Rs 8.02 crore for not properly spending the money sanctioned from 2017-18 to 2021-22. Rs 17 crores were sanctioned for the last financial year to Karnataka, which is in second place in coconut farming. Rs 240 crores were requested as an additional amount, but Rs 50 crores were again given. Tamil Nadu, which asked for more than Rs 12 crore, got Rs 6 crore and Andhra, which asked for Rs 5 crore, was given the full amount.

During this period, Kerala got Rs 2.88 crores, that too without making any demand from the central government. The government never took the golden opportunity to demand additional funds from the central board.

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TAGS: KERALA, LOSE, MONEY, CRORE, DELHI, CENTRAL GOVERNMENT, AGRICULTURE
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