CHENNAI: The State Assembly witnessed ruckus and sabre rattling between the Treasury and the Opposition benches on Friday during debate on demands for grants to Food and the Cooperation departments. The issues of drought relief and crop loan waiver had triggered heated arguments and exchange of words.
The Government’s decision to go for appeal against the High Court order to provide drought relief to all types of farmers irrespective of the size of land they held led to a tiff between the Minister for Cooperation ‘Sellur’ K Raju on one side, and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin and deputy leader of Opposition Durai Murugan on the other.
AIADMK member K R Raja Krishnan’s (Anthiyur segment) reference to the DMK’s first family generated much heat in the House as he was confronted by the Opposition. P K Sekar Babu and Durai Chandrasekaran led the DMK bloc in the chorus demanding that the remarks be expunged. Some order returned after the intervention of the Minister for Electricity P Thangamani who suggested expunging the remarks.
Sellur Raju gets trolled
The much derided ‘thermacol’ technology to cover the Vaigai river water to prevent evaporation returned to haunt the Minister Sellur Raju. Using two sheets of white paper, Durai Murugan joined them together to give an impression of thermacol sheets to silence the Minister. Some Opposition members were heard shouting ‘thermacol’.
No question of plastic rice
Allaying fears of the alleged plastic rice, the Minister for Food and Consumer Protection R Kamaraj said the item was not at found in any corner of the country. It was being hyped up on social media.
1.2 cr smart cards distributed
Kamaraj informed the House that 1.2 crore smart cards had been distributed so far and efforts were on to cover others.
130 detained under PBM Act
During the year 2016-17, a total of 130 rice smugglers were detained under the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 (PBM Act), according to information furnished in the Policy Note on Food and Consumer Protection department.
Safety measures for co-op
Minister for Cooperation Sellur K Raju announced that the scheme for installing safety measures including lockers would be taken up at a cost of `253.42 lakh in 62 cooperative firms.
25 direct procurement centres for paddy
As part of measures to provide better infrastructure for paddy procurement in the rice bowl of TN, the State government on Friday announced the setting up of 25 permanent direct procurement centres (DPC) for paddy. R Kamaraj, Minister for Food and Consumer Protection, made the announcement in the Assembly.
“As many as 25 direct procurement centres will be constructed during the current financial year with assistance of NABARD,” he said. He added that the construction would be taken at an estimate of D10 crore. This apart, Kamaraj stated that 50 paddy drying yards, at a cost of D5.50 crore, would be established in the delta region.