Opposition politicians are up in arms at what they see as the Ministry’s profligacy.

Telangana minister is on a 10-day junket in the US for a three-day agriculture event
news Politics Monday, August 29, 2016 - 14:07

In yet another case of lavish bureaucratic junkets at the exchequer’s expense, a contingent of Telangana’s Agriculture Ministry is set to have an all-expenses-paid full week’s holiday in the USA. The contingent is in the US to attend an agricultural event.

According to the government order (GO) authorising the contingent, the Telangana government was invited to participate in The Farm Progress Show being held from Tuesday to Thursday (August 30 to September 1) at Boone IOWA.

Although the event is scheduled for just three days, Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy and two bureaucrats, who left for the US on Sunday, August 28, are scheduled to stay in the US till September 7 at the tax payers’ expense.

Opposition politicians are up in arms at what they see as the Ministry’s profligacy. Telangana Congress General Secretary Sravan Dasoju told The News Minute, “This is lack of accountability for public money.  When the conference is for three days, how can they go for 10 days. If it was a personal trip, nobody would have had a problem but this is people’s money.”

“This is just an extension of the TRS government’s apathy towards farmers. The government is insensitive to the 3, 000 farmers that have committed suicide. They have not yet provided ex-gratia compensation to their families,” he added.

He also said that the TRS government bore responsibility for the poor state of Telangana’s farmers because it had not carried out prompt action in regard to drought or minimum support prices. “The TRS government is irresponsible when it comes to agricultural, as it has not submitted proper reports to the centre regarding the drought prone areas in the state, nor has it provided MSP to the farmers as promised in their manifesto,” he said.

BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao accused the Telangana government of committing criminal negligence towards farmers in the state. “BJP strongly condemns the criminal negligence of Telangana state government and it's wrong to allow the Agriculture Minister Mr Pocharam Srinivas Reddy to go on a junket to USA while farmers of the state are resorting to suicides due to severe drought conditions.”

“This is the fourth crop failure in this state and instead of focusing on remedial measures, the state government is acting irresponsibly and with unpardonable neglect,” Rao added.

"I can't understand how the minister can go on a foreign trip when his presence is needed," G V Ramanjaneyulu, director of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture told The Times of India.

This is not the first time the TRS government has courted controversy on similar grounds. In 2015, a contingent for a similar event in Tel Aviv, Israel was criticised for including four TRS MLAs who were not related to the field of agriculture.  


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