Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The high-level inter-ministerial committee constituted by the Odisha government held a meeting today to look into the demands of farmers pertaining to price, prestige and pension.

Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera informed that the committee will hold a detailed discussion with several other farmer groups and outfits in the second meeting which has been scheduled for December 7.

“At the next meeting, several issues and problems faced by farmers pertaining to agriculture will be discussed. Moreover, suggestions from farmers and other agricultural experts will be sought on the demands of farmers regarding price, prestige and pension also,” said Behera.

It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha government had formed the ministerial committee after several farmer organisations under the aegis of the Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan had intensified their agitation demanding price, prestige and pension.

The committee is headed by Shashi Bhusan Behera while agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy and Co-operation minister Surya Narayan Patro are other members of the panel.

“In presence of the senior officials of concerned departments, the first meeting of the committee was held. Discussions were held to examine the issue of pension and seek suggestion from farmers and their representatives. Only after a detailed examination, the committee will recommend the Chief Minister to take necessary action,” said Cooperation Minister, Surya Narayan Patro.

We can go to decide on what the policy and its modalities would be. But there is no question of going for a discussion till the government clears its stand on the issue and comes up with an ordinance,” said Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) Convenor Akshay Kumar.

Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati on the other alleged that it is a ploy of the Odisha government keeping in view the upcoming elections.

“Farmers are completely neglected by ruling BJD in Odisha. To prevent farmers from protesting, Odisha government has convened such a meeting to mislead the farmers,” alleged BJP MLA Pradip Purohit.