CM?s colleagues drag feet, block changes | india | Hindustan Times
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CM?s colleagues drag feet, block changes

A STIFF opposition from some ministers forced the State Cabinet to defer a decision to amend the Mandi Parishad Act so as to allow entry of private players and facilitate contract farming in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav presided over a meeting of the Cabinet here this morning. At the meeting, sources said, some ministers opposed the move on the ground that the agriculture sector was in bad shape and economic condition of farmers poor.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 01:15 IST

A STIFF opposition from some ministers forced the State Cabinet to defer a decision to amend the Mandi Parishad Act so as to allow entry of private players and facilitate contract farming in Uttar Pradesh.

Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav presided over a meeting of the Cabinet here this morning. At the meeting, sources said, some ministers opposed the move on the ground that the agriculture sector was in bad shape and economic condition of farmers poor.

Any move to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), allowing entry of MNCs in the sector, would have an adverse impact on agriculture, the ministers said and added there was already a paucity of agriculture land. Average land holdings were too low they argued.

The ministers were initially hesitant to oppose the move as the proposal was directly linked to Minister for PWD, Agriculture Marketing and Exports Shiv Pal Singh Yadav. However, when the Chief Minister took the lead in supporting their point, the Cabinet decided to defer the move. Officials were asked to reconsider all the aspects before placing the proposal before the Cabinet again.

Sources said the proposal to amend the Mandi Parishad Act was mooted at the behest of World Bank. A team of the WB had recently advised amendment to the Act to allow entry of MNCs and facilitate contract farming.

Another issue on which the Cabinet deferred a decision included divestment of surplus fund of district cooperative banks, scheduled cooperative banks and the corporations working in the cooperative sector.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet decided to introduce uniform rate of trade tax of 5 percent on all types of hosiery items. At present 4 percent tax was being imposed on the hosiery produced from yarn bought within the State while rate of tax was 5 percent on all other types of hosiery.

Although the decisions of the Cabinet were not communicated to mediapersons, sources said the meeting decided to dispose off spare parts of a State Government airplane and six trainer aircrafts. As per proposal, tenders would be invited to auction the spare parts. The Cabinet decided to treat special allowance admissible to pilots and engineers of Directorate of Civil Aviation as part of salary for the purpose of granting them retirement benefits.

The Cabinet reviewed the minimum wages paid to the workers under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, in 59 notified establishments. Henceforth, unskilled workers would be paid minimum wages of 2600 per month for 26 working days at the rate of Rs 100 per day. Semi-skilled workers would be paid a sum of Rs 2964 per month and the rate for skilled workers would be Rs 3290 per month.

A decision to provide time bound scales to the non-teaching staff of educational and technical education institutions on the pattern of State Government employees was also taken at the meeting. The Cabinet decided to amend the UP Special Economic Zones Development Authority Act, 2002, to allow private sector companies to put up proposals regarding development of SEZs.

In another significant decision the State Cabinet decided to grant exemption in excise duty on inter-state sale to grain-based distilleries.