Bhubaneswar, Nov 28 (LocalWire): The much-hyped State Potato Mission (SPM) launched to make Odisha self-sufficient in the root vegetable failed as the government could not utilize the financial resources that were at its disposal.
The failure of SPM has come to the fore with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) pulling up the government in its audit report released today.
‘The objective of achieving self-sufficiency in production of potatoes could not be achieved as the government could succeed in utilizing only 25% allocated budgetary provisions in this regard,’ the CAG report indicted the government.
In order to make the state self-sufficient in potatoes by 2017-18, government had launched SPM during 2015-16 for production, storage and distribution of potatoes in the state.
During 2015-16 to 2017-18, Rs 26.65 crore (20.5 per cent) was utilized against the budgetary provision of Rs 130 crore.
Similarly, against the physical target of establishing 55 cold storages, only 23 (41.81 per cent) cold storages had been established till March 2018, the report found out.
It’s pertinent to note here that during the monsoon session of the Assembly in July, the government had admitted the failure of potato mission for absence of cold storage facilities. The state continues to be dependent on neighbouring West Bengal to meet the demand for potatoes.