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Social audit of farmpackages on cards
December, 24th 2009

Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan announced that his government would conduct social audit of the packages for farmers announced by the prime minister and chief minister to tackle the acute financial distress and suicides.

"Though we have fully implemented packages that involved over Rs 5000 crore and utilised the amount, we are unaware of whether they have actually helped the target beneficiaries. Audit will help in assessing this and would ensure transparency," Chavan told reporters after winding up of state assembly session on Wednesday.

The CM claimed that successful implementation of packages was his government's "achievement" but added he was not happy about the overall situation as farmer suicides were still taking place. "Number of those taking extreme step has definitely reduced, but it has not stopped.

Social audit will help point out lacunae and modify the package," said Chavan who was accompanied by deputy CM Chagan Bhujbal, animal husbandry minister Nitin Raut, parliamentary affairs minister Harshwardhan Deshmukh, and food and civil supplies minister Anil Deshmukh.

Referring to opposition criticism about faulty implementation of farmers packages, the CM stressed that the government was still ready to help any farmer in distress. "Criticism will always be there, but specific cases must be known for taking action," he shot back.

Chavan said he was satisfied with the outcome of the two-week session during which many significant discussions took place and 10 important bills were passed.

The government had also taken policy decisions on various issues like tabling of Ram Pradhan report, attacks on journalists, and greeting cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar.

"We discussed many vital issues related to the region like backlog, school education, drought, and Shegaon shrine development. I thank Opposition for their active support. Taking everything into consideration, the government has announced Rs 10,000 crore package for the development of Vidarbha.

It would be implemented in three years and our chief secretary would take review of its progress. We have decided to form a regional cadre to fill up all vacant seats in Grade-I and Grade-II in the region through MPSC which will give boost to development. Moreover, we had already announced package of Rs 1,386 crore for Naxal-hit Gadchiroli district," he stressed.

The CM said government was ready to have a longer session but the decision was taken by Business Advisory Committee (BAC) comprising members from all parties.

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