Minister for Minority Welfare and Waqf Qamarul Islam on Tuesday informed the Legislative Council that his department would complete the survey of all waqf properties by October. Responding to Syed Mudeer Aga’s (JD-S) statement that the Rs. 4-crore allocation for protection of waqf properties was too meagre, Mr. Qamarul Islam said the department was taking every step to protect waqf properties. A survey had been ordered in this connection and it would be conducted by personnel of the Department of Survey and Settlement. The survey would be validated by revenue authorities — tahsildars and deputy commissioners — before it was finalised by the Commissioner for Survey and Settlement. Funds had been released to deputy commissioners to facilitate the survey, he said.
Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda said his department was considering reviving the post of agriculture assistant and appointing candidates with PUC (PCMB) pass or diploma in agriculture to the post. The proposal, however, had to be cleared by the high-powered committee of the government, he said. He was responding to M.D. Lakshminarayana’s (BJP) question on steps being taken to fill vacancies in the department. Quoting Mr. Gowda’s written reply, Mr. Lakshminarayana said 5,627 posts were vacant and questioned the government’s commitment to serve farmers. Mr. Gowda said the department had taken 325 staff members from the Sericulture Department besides availing itself of the services of 745 people on outsourcing basis.
To a question by Bharati Shetty (BJP), Mr. Gowda said he would look into the possibility of providing subsidy to women farmers to buy light agricultural equipment and send department personnel to the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hesaraghatta, which had invented such equipment. Ms. Shetty said there were nearly 14.86 lakh women farmers and they needed government assistance. Mr. Gowda said women farmers could avail themselves of subsidies being offered to all farmers. His department was planning to make it compulsory for a farmer seeking government subsidy to buy equipment to mention the names of women in his household in the application. The department had also mooted a proposal to bear the cost of share amount of women if they intend to become members of cooperative society, on lines of the facility being given to people belonging to Scheduled Castes, he said.