The Bihar Assembly on Thursday witnessed uproarious scenes with opposition MLAs alleging irregularities in distribution and non-payment of subsidy on diesel to farmers in 26 districts declared drought-hit.
Replying to a question, Agriculture Minister Renu Kushwaha said the State government had decided to pay subsidy of Rs. 300 per acre on diesel to farmers, which was being paid through gram panchayats and the state government had no role in it.
When several opposition MLAs, including Rai, Ramdeo Verma, Shakeel Ahmed Khan and Ramchandra Purve wanted to know the details of utilisation of funds for subsidy, the Minister said gram panchayats were providing it in cash to farmers on presentation of receipts for purchase of diesel.
She said the State government had allocated around Rs 300 crore for distribution of subsidy of which Rs 49.5 crore had been utilised.
Mr. Khan and the others, however, were dissatisfied and demanded a probe by a house committee.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the gram panchayats were responsible for distribution of subsidy and the state government would act on specific complaints about non-payment of subsidy to farmers.
The Chief Minister asked the members to calm down and make suggestions for effective utilisation of government funds on this head for farmers.
The House once again witnessed an uproar when opposition members, including Khan alleged highhandedness by state Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) director Rajesh Kumar against a Dalit official M K Choudhary.
When the members demanded constitution of a House panel to probe the ‘misconduct’ of the ICDS director, Speaker U N Choudhary assured them of personally looking into the matter.
Earlier, Health minister N K Yadav informed the house that the allegations against the ICDS director were being looked into by Chief Secretary Anoop Mukherjee, who had sought an explanation from Kumar on the basis of a report from the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission.