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Coal scam blackening country's face: Modi

September 03, 2012 18:42 IST

Attacking the Centre on the coal allocation controversy, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the scam was 'blackening the country's face'.

"On the lines of Gujarat, the Centre had decided to distribute soil health cards to farmers. I don't know when they are going to do this. They are stuck in coal (scam)," Modi said addressing a national convention on agri-business.

"The scam is blackening the country's face as Delhi has got mired in coal."

The chief minister also claimed Gujarat was the only state where industrial and agricultural development were taking place simultaneously. "National average of agriculture growth is 2-3 per cent but Gujarat has grown at 10 per cent in the last decade," Modi said.

In the last 10 years, seven lakh hectares of land was brought under micro-irrigation in the state whereas only a thousand hectares had been brought under micro-irrigation in

the previous 40 years, he said.

Farmers from several states attended the convention. Modi announced Gujarat would organize `international agri fair' every three years, on the lines of `Agritech' in Israel, where latest technology and global trends would be showcased.

Modi also announced an agricultural institute would be set up in Gujarat in collaboration with Israel. "The degree of an Israeli university would be awarded to the students," he said.

Speaking on this occasion, Israel Counsel General Orna Sagi said her country was celebrating 20 years of bilateral trade relations with India.

"In 1992, the bilateral trade with India was $180 million and today it is $5 billion. Agriculture has been an instrument in this growth," Sagi said.

Sagi also announced Israel would establish three Centres of Excellence in Gujarat for vegetables, mango and post-harvest processing of dates and banana.  
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