Over 17,000 Krishak Mitras working at the panchayat level across Jharkhand are bracing up for a showdown with the government over the honorarium issue.
Krishak Mitras have been working in the state since 2010, but the government has not fixed their honorarium till now.
They only get `4,000 for buying stationery items. Krishak Mitras carry out agricultural plans at the panchayat level and submit written reports at the block office weekly.
Agriculture consultants (Krishak Mitras) in Bihar, Bengal, Odisha and Chhattishgarh are paid `5,200 as honorarium, but the Jharkhand government has not yet
fixed any honorarium for Krishak Mitras here so far. The irony is that under the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), there are four official
“The government has fixed honorarium for the employees of state level (nodal officers), district level (deputy project directors) and block level (block technical
managers and subject matter specialists). But honorarium for the panchayat level Krishak Mitras have not been fixed yet,” Somnath Mahto, the president of
Jharkhand State Krishak Mitra Sangh (JSKMS), said.
The JSKMS leader said in the past four years, they have only been deceived by the government. Former chief minister Arjun Munda and present chief minister
Hemant Soren had directed the agriculture department, but no step was initiated for fixing the honorarium of Krishak Mitras. The state body of JSKMS held a
meeting in Dhanbad on Friday and chalked out an agitational plan.
“Even Rozgar Sevaks under MGNREGA and workers of other central government-sponsored plans are paid honorarium. We had even requested a minimum
wage (`168 per day) for Krishak Mitras,” Kayum Ansari, the JSKMS Dhanbad unit president, said.