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Orissa sets up commission to help farmers


Bhubaneswar: After coming under severe criticism from the opposition parties for “neglecting” the farm sector, Orissa government Thursday set up a four-member commission to deal with problems of farmers.

Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout announced in the assembly that a State Farmers’ Commission has been set up to look into various issues relating to farmers and to suggest remedial measures.

Retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer S.M. Patnaik has been appointed as its chairman, he said.

The other members of the commission are agriculture scientist Niranjan Panda, economist Sudhakar Panda, and Prof D.P. Ray, vice chancellor of the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology.

“The commission will investigate various issues related to the farmers, their problems and submit a report to the government within six months,” Rout said, adding the government is deciding the terms and references of the commission.

The opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allege that at least 30 farmers have died in the past few months due to crop failure and the government’s apathy towards their plight.

On Wednesday, the opening day of the month-long winter session, the opposition members demanded that the house should include the names of the deceased farmers in the obituary references. This was rejected by Speaker Pradip Amat.

The house was repeatedly adjourned Thursday over the issue and the minister made the announcement after the house re-assembled in the afternoon.