Our Bureau

Mumbai, July 15

THE Opposition members of Shiv Sena and BJP staged a walkout from the Vidhan Sabha on Friday over the non-payment of first instalment of the advance payment under Cotton Monopoly Procurement Scheme. However, the State Marketing Minister, Mr Harshvardhan Patil, speaking on the floor of the House said the entire amount of support price for the cotton procured in the last season had been paid to the farmers.

The issue as raised by the Opposition members was a political stunt, he said.

The Minster said a provision of Rs 535 crore had been made for payment of first instalment of the advance payment to the farmers out of which Rs 65 crore had been disbursed.

The first and second instalments of the advance payment collectively amounted to Rs 989 crore, for which provisions had been proposed in the supplementary demands, he said.

Mr Patil said the Government announced the disbursement in the last week of June and the process was on.

He rejected the Opposition charge that the first instalment of the advance payment was promised by the first week of June to the farmers.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 16, 2005)
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