Days before the Election Commission announced the schedule for the Gujarat Assembly elections, the state government has released money to gaushalas and panjrapols as promised under the Mukhyamantri Gau Mata Poshan Yojana after a long delay.
The much-awaited financial assistance – Rs 2.78 crore for 30,995 head of cattle in 30 days – delayed by more than seven months was finally released to 165 gaushalas and panjrapols of Banaskantha on the evening of October 29.
The transfer comes just two days ahead of Banaskanthan’s public program in Tharad, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of several water supply projects worth over Rs 8,000 crore on October 31.
Prime Minister on September 30 distributed enlarged copies of the vouchers Five gaushalas in Ambaji in Banaskantha district saw one of the biggest protests this financial year demanding money for nutrition under the scheme announced in the state budget.
However, nearly a month after receiving the vouchers under the Mukhyamantri Gau Mata Poshan Yojana, five gaushalas were still waiting for the full amount last week.
Vipul Mali, general secretary of Gujarat Gau Seva Sangh, an organization comprising several such cow shelters for sick cattle or past milking age, said, “This appears to be a well-planned political move by the state government. Just two days before the chief minister’s jan sabha in Banaskantha, a month’s worth of money was transferred to the accounts of gaushalas and panjrapols. Also, after the Prime Minister distributed the checks, it took a month to transfer this money.”
He further accused the state government of announcing the money to be transferred for two months and only half of it, i.e. for one month, has been deposited in the accounts of these gaushas. “On the one hand, the calculated month is still unclear because the state government has announced to start this scheme from April 1. On the other hand, we are not even given the guarantee money given by the chief minister himself in the jan sabha,” he added.
As for the rest of the regions, he said, “the government did not even do paperwork and did not request documents.” There are about 1,750 gaushas and panjrapols with over 4.5 million head of cattle in the state.
Further, on October 27, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel announced the withdrawal of the “own land” condition for registered gaushalas and panjrapols to qualify for the scheme. A Government Order (GR) issued by the Department of Agriculture, Farmers Welfare and Cooperation on September 29 – a day before the Prime Minister’s event in Ambaji – required applicants to register and possess their land along with certificates by March 31, 2022. for cattle.
“Various panjrapols and gaushalas registered under the Public Trust Act but without their own land have made representations to CM and Animal Husbandry Minister Raghavji Patel to avail the benefits of this scheme… Benefits of Mukhyamantri Gaumata Poshan Yojana to be given to landless enterprises, cow sheds “, – the official statement released by the provincial government says.
Although they were issued checks within two months and were assured that the money shown in the token checks would be reflected in their accounts “soon” after proper paperwork was done by the local administration, only 50 percent of the amount was deposited. Until last week, 5 gaushalas and the board explained their accounts Indian Express.
Kamdhenu Gausewa Trust in Lalavada village of Palanpur taluka was among the five trusts to receive the token check from PM Modi. “The amount on the check matched the old cattle records. Today we have 229 head of cows. So after checking the documents and based on the head of cattle, Rs 2,06,100 is just one month,” said Virampuri Indian Express.
On the state government’s ‘dily-dallying’, Mali added, “We have sought time from the Chief Minister and the Cabinet and have assured a meeting after Diwali. If the state government’s delaying tactics continue, we will chalk out a plan to restart our protests.”
Swami Virampuri, who manages the ashram, said that when the check was issued, the details included Rs 30 per cow for two months.
Similar concerns were shared by Bhaumik Thakkar (44) of Jagana, Shree Sadhguru Kabir Ramswarupdas Gaushala in Palanpur. “We are facing a difficult situation due to lack of funds. Ours is a self-financing gaushala. We also accept donations from organizations and individuals. We keep local breeds of cows which are difficult to maintain because they give less milk. So the cost of keeping them is higher than the return of milk, but Hindu Sanskrit preaches to save them.
During the protest, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Cow Husbandry Minister Raghavji Patel told The Indian Express that the delay in releasing money under the scheme was due to “administrative red tape”.
“We have given instructions to release payment for the remaining eligible gaushalas, but the administrative work is taking time. Bills and other documents to be submitted by the beneficiaries are taking time but it will be completed soon. We have given instructions to the relevant departments,” said Patel Indian Express in response to a question about the delay in disbursement of funds.