THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dispute between the Departments of Agriculture and Local Government over the vetting of new applications for LIFE Mission, the government’s free housing scheme, continues to escalate. While the local self-government department said agriculture department employees would show up for verification of new applications, the agriculture department maintained that it would not provide agricultural assistants for the process. of verification.
Earlier, the local self-government department issued an order deploying agricultural assistants to verify applications. However, the crisis began when the Department of Agriculture issued an order stating that it will not provide farm assistants for non-farm purposes. With this, the draft list could not be released on December 1. Following this, the Chief Secretary called a meeting of senior officials and staff representatives from both departments to resolve the issue. However, the meeting, which was due to take place on Saturday, was postponed at the last minute. Meanwhile, on the same day, in a meeting held at the office of the CM without the knowledge of the officials of the Department of Agriculture, it was decided to carry out the verification with the help of agricultural assistants. The local self-government department hopes that an ordinance will soon be issued in this regard. This will invalidate the order issued earlier by the director of agriculture and will force the agricultural helpers to go for verification. In this case, officials of the Department of Agriculture can call a strike.
The Department of Agriculture alleges that panchayat employees have been excluded from the vetting requirement in about 80% of panchayats. Employees informed the minister that if the agricultural assistants are deployed for verification, activities such as crop damage assessment, crop insurance and distribution of one crore of young fruit trees will come to a halt.
DIRECTORATE OF AGRICULTURE,
DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AUTONOMY