Special Correspondent

‘Crop insurance for Karnataka lowest in

the country’

‘State delaying release of the compensation’

GULBARGA: The Gulbarga Raitha Horata Samiti has set a deadline of August 1 for the Government to pay compensation to sugarcane growers and crop insurance dues to farmers in the district. It warned that the farmers would be forced to launch an indefinite agitation from August 1 if the demands were not conceded.

President of the samiti Kedarlingaiah Hiremath, who is also a senior leader of Janata Dal (Secular), said at a press conference here that it was unfortunate that Karnataka was the only State in the country that had not released its share of crop insurance compensation.

Mr. Hiremath said that the Agriculture Insurance Company and the Centre had released their share of the crop insurance amount for the State. The insurance company had more than once directed the Government to release its share to ensure timely payment of crop insurance dues. The crop insurance amount (Rs. 152 crore) for Karnataka for 2006-07 was the lowest in the country. The State Government had earmarked Rs. 500 crore in the Budget for payment of its share in the crop insurance amount, but it had not been released yet.

The Janata Dal (Secular) leader said that one of the major reasons for the “delay” was that the major beneficiary of the crop insurance scheme was Gulbarga district.

“If Hassan or Shimoga had a lion’s share in the crop insurance benefit, the Government would have by now released its share and ensured payment of the crop insurance compensation to the farmers,” he said.

Mr. Hiremath said that Gulbarga district, which had suffered excessive crop damage due to failure of rain during the kharif and rabi seasons, had been sanctioned a crop insurance compensation of Rs. 93 crore out of the Rs. 152 crore sanctioned for the State.