Maharashtra CM Prithiviraj Chavan was in Kolhapur for the inauguration of a conference on the co-operative movement Yashwant Sahakar Sohala on Saturday.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan criticized the Centre for its flip-flop on export policy of agricultural produce. The Congress leader was addressing the inaugural session of Yashwant Sahakar Sohala, a conference on cooperative sector, organised to celebrate Yashwantrao Chavan’s birth centenary on Saturday.
Visitors who wanted to meet him and hand over the respective statements disclosing their demands and grievances were first asked to go to the circuit house, and later asked to wait at the aerodrome. The visitors complained that when they rushed to the aerodrome and waited to see the CM, the latter left the scene without paying any heed to them, even though they had been waiting there a while.
“Agricultural produce should be freely exported like it is imported, as it will help farmers. In order to benefit urban consumers and other reasons, the government had restricted the export of onion, cotton, sugar and milk powder when they have better demand in the international market. Even though farmers’ agitation forced the government to remove restrictions, the former had to suffer heavy losses. The Centre should now give some serious thought on this issue,” he said.
Chavan said that the Centre may revoke the ban on milk powder export within two days. “Surplus milk production is a huge crisis,” he said. The chief minister also expressed serious reservations over a few provisions of the 97th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2011.
“According to this amendment, the states have to reform their cooperative acts by 2013. However, we have some issues like private audit of the cooperative firm, which will be conveyed to the Union,” he said.
He said the state is expecting Rs. 40,000 crore investment in the textile sector. “Presently 80% of cotton produce in the state go to other states. We are encouraging owners of processing units to invest in cotton producing regions as it will generate 11 lakh jobs,” he said.
There is a need for better discipline and training of staff in cooperative sector. “The credit societies have been enabled to immediately seal defaulters’ properties. Malpractices will not be tolerated,” he said.
Forest minister Patangrao Kadam, revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat, guardian minister Harshvardhan Patil, Labour minister Hasan Mushrif, Legislative council speaker Shivajirao Deshmukh, leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse, Minister of state for textiles Prakash Solanki, Minister of dairy development Madhukar Chavan, Peasants and Workers’ Party leader N. D. Patil, Minister of state for home department Satej Patil, Co-operative department secretary Rajgopal Deora, Co-operative department’s commissioner Madhukar Choudhary were present.