Rain-hit farmers in 11 districts to get Rs 205 crore as compensation

mamata

KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday allotted Rs 205 crore as compensation for farmers hit by unseasonal rain.

“Farmers here suffered losses owing to storm and hail before monsoon. Based on central government norms, we have decided to distribute Rs 205 crore among farmers in 11 districts, including Burdwan, the worst affected. Nearly 2 lakh marginal farmers will be benefited. The file has been sent to the CM and we hope the compensation will arrive soon,” said state agriculture minister Purnendu Basu. The beneficiary will be those farmers who have lost 33% and more of their crop to inclement weather.

The announcement was made on the day when knives were out for the BJPgovernment over the farmers’ killings in alleged police firing at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh.

Doling out of compensation isn’t new in Bengal given that back in March 2015, to ease a crisis in potato cultivation, the state announced that 50,000 metric tonne of the crop would be directly procured from farmers in eight major potato-producing districts at the rate of Rs 5,500 per metric tonne and Rs 550 a quintal.

The government then distributed them to schools for mid-day meals and ICDS beneficiaries at the rate of 1 kg per head per week.

Till April 21, 2015, 20,000 metric tonne potatoes were procured and farmers were paid. The same year chief minister Mamata Banerjee requested the Centre to waive the crop loans to potato growers for the 2014-15 season and to arrange for fresh loans for the ensuing Kharif season.
Since 2011, the Mamata Banerjee government, said sources, had been distributing agricultural input subsidy worth Rs 1,336.43 crore among 32.83 lakh farmers for damage of crops due to natural calamities under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

 Faced with disquiet in their states, the governments in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and now, Uttar Pradesh, have also adopted the route, though they have apparently not been able to reign in the crisis yet.

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