Cabinet sub-committee report recommends increase in input subsidy to help farmers

The government has increased the input subsidy sanctioned to farmers for the damaged paddy, groundnut, cotton and other crops from Rs.6,000 per hectare to Rs.10,000 per hectare.

Committee report

Announcing this in the Legislative Council at the end of short discussion on Relief and Rehabilitation taken up after Neelam cyclone here on Monday, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said the decision was based on the report by the Cabinet sub-committee that studied the need to increase input subsidy to help farmers.

The increase in input subsidy is about 67 per cent, highest so far in the State, he said. The last time the government increased the input subsidy to Rs. 6,000 per hectare was in 2010 and of it, the State government bore Rs. 1,500 per hectare. The input subsidy increase for other crops would be on the pro-rata basis.

On modernisation of drainage in the delta, he said Rs.7,500 crore had been sanctioned. Last year Rs.500 crore was spent but work slowed down due to sand shortage. This year also priority would be given for cleaning up of drains and canals.

Though Jalayagnam projects were delayed, they were now being executed in a focused manner. While 23 lakh acres were given water so far, another 30 lakh acres would be irrigated in the next two years with Rs.16,000 crore.

“Our aim is to release water to canals by June 1 so that crops could be harvested by October 15 in Circar areas and to prevent damage of crops in cyclone season. This is the only permanent solution to save crops inundated every alternate year,” he said.

Earlier, the Leader of Opposition Dadi Veerabhadra Rao criticised that the government saying the relief and rehabilitation steps were tardy. The Chief Minister and Ministers took their own time to tour the affected areas. The Collectors released only Rs. 9.67 crore towards ex gratia, relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected though they were authorised to draw money directly under the Treasury Rule 27.

Ex gratia

He and other opposition leaders demanded Rs.5 lakh ex gratia each to the families of the deceased and speedy restoration of damaged roads and breached tanks.

Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy said that the State was seeking Rs.3,566 crore in addition to Rs.1,000 crore aid sought for repairing the damages caused by the recent cyclone and floods. Compensation was paid to families of the 58 deceased persons and in three cases, legal heirs were being ascertained.