Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments waive off farm loans
The Uttar Pradesh government has announced to waive off crop loans of up to Rs 1 lakh of 21.6 million small and marginal farmers. Following this, the Madras high court has also directed the Tamil Nadu government to waive all farm loans accessed through cooperative banks, irrespective of the size of the farmers’ landholdings. Even the Maharashtra government is now planning to study the Uttar Pradesh model for a similar loan waiver scheme. However, as per officials, the move is a short-term measure and is going to have an impact on allocations to key schemes in other sectors.
PM to take full charge of Namami Gange
With an aim to curb pollution in the Ganga river, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has given the go-ahead to another 26 projects worth Rs 2,154.28 crore under the Namami Gange programme. Due to the delay in the implementation of the programme, it is speculated that prime minister Narendra Modi might take charge of the Ganga clean-up. In order to show tangible improvement in the river water quality before the next election in 2019, the PM might launch new clean-up projects in Uttar Pradesh from where the longest stretch of the Ganga river flows.
Maharashtra under scanner for flaws in irrigation and fishing schemes
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the Maharashtra government for losing crores due to flawed planning and poor implementation of the fishing and agricultural schemes. As per CAG claims, the incorrect application of contract clause, inadmissible payments and blocked expenditure, the irrigation projects have resulted in a loss of around Rs 95 crores to the state. Along with this, inadequacies in planning for development of fisheries due to lack of credible data has also accrued significant losses to the state government. The CAG has now made several recommendations to both the irrigation and fisheries departments.
HC orders study of minerals in coastal sand in Tamil Nadu
The Madras high court has ordered a team of mining and atomic mineral experts to collect samples of raw materials from the sand mined from the coastal districts of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari and make an assessment of the availability of mineral monazite. The order is a major blow to beach sand mining mafia which is suspected to have mined major minerals worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore. Along with this, the court has also directed the central government to take effective policy decision and regulate the process of mining.
PIL filed against the supply of Thamirabarani river water to 15 companies
A petition has been filed in the Madras high court seeking a halt in the supply of the Thamirabarani river water to 15 companies, including Pepsi and Coca Cola, in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The petition has been filed to bring to the court's notice the fact that despite the prevailing water scarcity in the reservoirs in Tirunelveli district, 15 companies continue to be supplied with water which is affecting the water supply to the residents.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from April 3 - 10, 2017. Also, read news this week.