The CAG also slammed the Maharashtra govt over its programme of small-scale irrigation projects.
Mumbai: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) came down heavily on the Maharashtra government in its reports on the Finance and Economic sectors, highlighting many irregularities in irrigation as well as agricultural departments.
Criticising the government’s National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) “failed in implementation,” the CAG has asked the government to rethink on criteria for clearing insurance claims as well as the mechanism followed by the government to compensate farmers.
The CAG dissected both the NAIS and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) for their implementation. It observes that, “As per Centre’s directions, NAIS was supposed to reach at Gram Panchayat level in three years. But it has failed to do so. Government’s directives were also issued late. In Rabbi 2011-12, 2012-13 and Kharif 2014 government issued directives that were late by 5 to 17 days.” The CAG also observed that this delay has damaged farmers’ interests of claiming insurance for lost crop.
The authority has also given suggestions for betterment of these schemes. It reads, “There must be a scientific method to measure the crop field as well as field that is claimed for insurance. Government should also use satellite images and remote sensing to compensate the farmers. Government needs to find out the mechanism to compensate farmers in time-bound manner.”
The CAG also slammed the Maharashtra government over its programme of small-scale irrigation projects. It observed that, “These irrigation projects haven’t proved fruitful. Water Conservation Department and Vidarbha Irrigation Department Corporation launched this scheme without proper planning and prioritisation.” The CAG also expressed dissatisfaction over monitoring of projects. It said, “In the absence of departmental checks and community ownership through water user’s associations, water was being pilfered from the storage areas of project sites without paying any water charges.”
The authority also gives list of department-wise losses that the state has had to bear over the years. In this, the public health department’s losses are highest, standing at Rs 62.19 crore.