Mumbai

CM announces ₹10,000 cr. financial aid

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced financial assistance of ₹10,000 crore for rain-affected people and areas in the State.

After chairing a meeting of Cabinet Ministers, Mr. Thackeray said the aid will reach the affected people, including farmers, by Deepavali. He said, “We reviewed the situation in totality and as per our promise not to forsake farmers, we have decided to allocate ₹10,000 crore as aid. These funds will be used to recoup losses caused to crops and fields, and repair damaged roads and electric poles.”

Mr. Thackeray said the Centre’s ₹6,800 compensation per hectare of arable land is insufficient and the State would give ₹10,000 per hectare, with a limit of up to two hectares. “Financial aid of ₹25,000 per hectare will be given for horticulture instead of ₹18,000 per hectare, with a limit of up to two hectares,” he said, adding that this is the highest amount given as aid by any State government.

Of the total package, ₹5,500 crore is reserved for the agriculture sector, ₹2,635 crore for repairing roads and bridges, ₹300 crore for urban development, ₹239 crore for restoring power utilities, ₹102 crore for water resources and ₹1,000 crore for repairing rural roads and restoring water supply.

Mr. Thackeray said, “The Centre has to pay the State ₹38,000 crore. Had they paid this amount, we would not have faced difficulties in announcing the relief package. I request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the dues at the earliest.” He said if needed he will meet the PM to secure the dues.

Referring to the demands made by Mr. Thackeray during the crop loss last year, when the Shiv Sena was a BJP ally, Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said, “Mr. Thackeray himself had demanded financial aid of ₹25,000 per hectare for rain-affected farmers. Today’s announcement has betrayed the trust of farmers.”

Mr. Thackeray said, “COVID-19 had not hit us financially when I had made this demand. The State is now struggling on the financial front. We need our dues from the Centre and the Leader of the Opposition should help us.”

Farmer organisations welcomed the announcement, but said they expected more aid, considering the huge losses. “The amount announced will not be enough for farmers. The government also needs to ensure that insurance companies pay farmers and not run away from their responsibility,” said Ajit Nawale, State general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 1:15:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/cm-announces-10000-cr-financial-aid/article32932809.ece

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