Citizens' Issues
After spending Rs.200 crore, Haryana to do away with agro-malls
After having spent over Rs.200 crore ($30 million) on constructing farmer-specific agro-Malls, the Haryana government has 'realised' that marketing of agricultural produce through them is not "practical".
 
The new BJP government in Haryana is considering converting the agro-malls into general malls so that these can be utilised.
 
The agro-malls were launched at four places - Panchkula, Karnal, Panipat and Rohtak - by the previous Congress government of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The agro-malls were announced in 2008 and were completed in 2013-14.
 
Haryana Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar felt the concept of agro-malls was "not practical" and they had thus remained a non-starter.
 
The agro-mall in Rohtak, Hooda's hometown, was built for over Rs 76 crore and the other three for Rs.50 crore to Rs.55 crore each, agriculture department officials told IANS.
 
The then government had proposed that the ground floor of the malls would be used to sell agricultural goods and equipment to farmers while the top floor was to have multiplexes.
 
And there lies the hub. A facility that was essentially meant for rural folk was located in urban areas where farmers would rarely tread. Then, city folk would hardly venture into a multiplex located in a building from whose ground floor agricultural produce and equipment were being sold.
 
"The decision of the previous government to set up four agro-malls was unsuitable as there is a huge difference in marketing of agricultural and industrial produce. Marketing of agricultural produce through agro-mall is not practical," Dhankar said.
 
"The government is considering converting these agro-malls into general malls. But the revenue generated through the malls would be utilized for the welfare of farmers," the minister said.
 
The malls have been in controversy earlier too.
 
A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in March 2013 had rapped the Haryana government for initiating work on the agro-malls without even finalizing the project reports and other details.
 
"The works were conceived and allotted without finalizing their actual requirements, detailed project reports, approved designs and drawings and assessing the complete scope of work," the CAG report pointed out.
 
"There was also lack of planning in formulating the projects and contract agreements as the main conditions of levying of penalty on account of non-completion of work in time and deduction of welfare cess were not incorporated in the contract agreements," the report said.
 
Haryana, along with neighbouring Punjab, is a leading state in foodgrain production. It has seen the record arrival of nearly 5.6 million tonnes of paddy this season compared to a target of only 3.6 million tonnes.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Rajiv killing: SC says TN has no suo moto power to release convicts
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the Tamil Nadu government has no suo moto power to grant remission and release the convicts accused of conspiracy in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
 
The apex court constitution bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu said that the state government could grant remission and release the convicts only in consultation with the central government as the case was investigated and prosecuted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
 
The court said consultation would mean concurrence of the centre.
 
The court said this while answering reference by a three-judge bench which had asked the constitution bench to address seven questions framed by it.
 
In the case of heinous crimes, the court by a majority verdict held that it could sentence the accused to life imprisonment, meaning the whole life without remission.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Reforming Bankruptcy Laws
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