Janakpurdham: Provincial leaders of the Janta Samajwadi Party Nepal (JSPN) are misusing Province-2’s agriculture modernization scheme, under which farmers get subsidized tractors and solar pumps. The tractors and solar pumps distributed by the Ministry of Land Management and Cooperatives have supposedly been given to party leaders and cadres. Opposition party leaders and some members of the civil society have accused the state government of rolling out the scheme just to please the ruling party cadres.
Leaders and cadres of JSPN, and not the real farmers, are reaping the benefits of the tractors and the solar pumps distributed by the ministry, at 50 percent subsidy, for agriculture-promotion in the province.
While Minister of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives Shailendra Prasad Sah distributed 20 tractors in Saptari, Minister of State Yagendra Raya Yadav distributed 18 tractors in Rautahat and 10 more in other districts of the province.
Sujana Devi Koiri, Ram Chandra Yadav, Ram Prakash Yadav, Radheshyam Goit, Mahendra Chaudhary, Gyan Kumar Yadav, Bhogendra Prasad Yadav, Rajkumari Debi, Kisan Multipurpose Farmers Group, Mithila Agriculture and Dairy Industry and Dinesh Yadav are among the recipients of subsidized tractors in Dhanusha district.
Ram Prakash Yadav is the father of Raj Kumar Yadav, ward chairman of JSP’s Kamala Municipality-1 unit. He is also a relative of Pashupati Yadav, district chairman of JSP. Gyan Kumar Yadav was a JSPN mayoral candidate for Dhanushadham Municipality.
Similarly, Ram Chandra Yadav’s name was recommended by the then Minister of Internal Affairs Gyanendra Kumar Yadav. The multi-purpose farmer group belongs to Vaidyanath Rai, the city chairman of JSPN.
Right to information activist Saroj Kumar Mishra alleges that few real farmers have benefited from the government grant. According to Mishra, the government only plans schemes and distributes benefits to party workers and relatives of those in power.
Such is also the case with a solar pump scheme under which farmers bear only 15 percent of the cost while the government covers the rest.
The ministry distributed 232 solar pumps to farmers in all eight districts of the province two years ago, prioritizing vegetable farmers. But most of the people who received the solar pumps were Janata Samajwadi Party Nepal cadres as well.
Most solar pumps (48) were distributed in Saptari, the home district of the Minister of Agriculture. The fewest (11) went to Mahottari, according to the ministry. Similarly, 45 pumps were distributed in Dhanusha, 44 in Sarlahi, 26 in Siraha, 23 in Bara, 21 in Parsa and 14 in Rautahat.