Bhubaneswar: In sync with the demand of the agitating farmer unions in the country, the State Cabinet Tuesday passed a resolution, urging the Centre to implement the MS Swaminathan Committee report on raising the minimum support price (MSP) of foodgrains.
The Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik resolved to move the Centre, reiterating its earlier demand for implementation of the recommendations of the Committee regarding hiking of the MSP of all crops to ensure doubling the farmers’ income.
In a press statement, the government said it has been dedicatedly working towards development of farmers and is committed to the doubling of farmers’ income. All government policies and programmes, including the new Agricultural Policy 2020 SAMRUDHI are aimed at achieving rapid farm growth through improved profitability, inclusivity and sustainability, it said.
The state government considers that the MSP is an important tool for income generation of farmers. The income of farmers needs to keep pace with the growth of income in other sectors and the rise in the cost of cultivation.
The MSP of any agricultural produce has to be fixed in a holistic manner so as to make farming operations profitable and safeguard farmers against all types of risks, the statement said.
Earlier, the State Assembly had passed unanimous resolutions in this regard in 2017 and again in 2018. The Cabinet in November last year had also approved a similar resolution. The MS Swaminathan-headed National Commission on Farmers had recommended that “MSP should be at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production”.
The State Cabinet also approved a proposal to bring in the ordinance on the Odisha Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) for the third time. Briefing about the decisions, Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra said the cabinet has decided to extend the Odisha Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) ordinance to provide competitive rates to farmers for their produces.
The government has approved the proposal to implement Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD) project.
The government will spend Rs500 crore on science-based watershed management for six years starting from April, 2021. Out of this, the World Bank will provide a loan assistance amounting to `350 crore. The project will benefit 1,90,000 persons including 10,000 poor and landless households, Mahapatra said.
The government has also decided to bring in an amendment to the Biju Patnaik University of Technology Act, 2002 for smooth functioning and academic excellence of the university. It was proposed to convert the status of government engineering colleges from constituent colleges of BPUT and bring them under their respective autonomous Board of Governors for proper administration, the Chief Secretary said.
It is proposed to re-designate the conventional designation of professors, readers and lecturers as professors, associate professors and assistant professors in line with the all India pattern and as per AICTE norms.
A new section has been inserted wherein the chancellor is made competent to issue direction or instruction not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act and statutes on any matter connected with the university when any authority or Vice-Chancellor fails to act in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
In order to bring uniformity with other state universities, it is proposed to fix the term of office of the Vice Chancellor of BPUT at four years instead of the current five years.
As part of its 5T mantra, the state Cabinet approved the proposed SOPAN (Strategy for Odisha’s Pathway to Accelerated Nutrition) scheme for improving nutrition outcomes in 125 blocks of 22 districts in the state.