Guwahati, Feb 21 (PTI) Admitting that there have been discrepancies in tractor distribution scheme, the Assam government today said the process has been temporarily suspended till guidelines are amended. Also Read - Assam Assembly Election 2021: Check Voting Date In Your Constituency And Full Schedule

In a reply to a query by BJP MLA Ashok Sarma during the Question Hour in the Assembly today, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora said: “There were discrepancies in the entire tractor distribution process. So, the chief minister had formed a committee.” Also Read - Tezpur University Hiring For Assistant Professor, Associate Professor Posts: Check Salary, Steps to Apply, Registration Date Here

The committee has submitted its recommendations and accordingly, the guidelines of the scheme are being amended at present and the purchase of tractors by farmers’ groups will resume, he added. Also Read - Poll Dates Announced For 5 Assemblies, Mamata Questions EC | All Major Election Developments in 10 Points

To a separate question by BPF MLA Maheswar Baro, Bora said: “The tractor distribution programme under the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) has been temporarily suspended.”

The minister also admitted the allegation to be true that farmers were being forced to purchase tractors of some particular brands by “some people” and assured the House to keep an eye on it.

He informed that under the CMSGUY, the government had decided to provide 70 per cent, or a maximum of Rs 5.5 lakh subsidy, to one farmers’ group in every village across the state.

“Till now, a total of 25,007 applications have been received. In the first phase, 10,134 farmers groups, who were single applicants from their villages, were selected for the distribution of tractors and accessories,” Bora said.

Under the scheme, three variants of tractors — 35-40 HP, 40-45 HP and 45-50 HP — will be provided to the farmers’ groups and the purchase process will be a competitive one, he added.

On December 10 last year, the Assam government had started distribution of 10,109 tractors across the state as part of its efforts towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022 under the CMSGUY.

Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had informed that Rs 1,000 crore was earmarked for providing 70 per cent subsidy for the tractors, while 20 per cent of the cost were to be borne by the banks and the remaining 10 per cent by the beneficiaries.

In the first week of the ongoing Budget Session, the Leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, had alleged massive corruption in the distribution of tractors and demanded an All-Party House Committee to probe into the matter.

Saikia had alleged that the CMSGUY has become a “money making scheme” for some people in the government.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.