Mumbai

Maharashtra government extends PDS benefits to APL farmers

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Scheme to dig one lakh wells and 50,000 farm ponds planned

The Maharashtra government will flag off ambitious programmes of digging one lakh wells, and 50,000 farm ponds and bringing Above Poverty Line farmers from 14 suicide-affected districts within the ambit of the Food Security Act from Independence Day, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Thursday.

The inconsistent monsoon has reduced soil moisture, and to prevent its negative impact, the State government had launched the Jal Yukt Shivar scheme to involve villagers in increasing the water table in their respective village.

To prevent a spurt in farm suicides, the government will extend the benefits of the Food Security Act to Above Poverty Line (APL) farmers too in six drought-prone districts of Marathwada, and six suicide-affected districts in Vidarbha.

The State will provide rice at Rs. 3 per kg, and wheat at Rs. 2 per kg to APL beneficiaries, and this way all ration-card holders in 14 districts will benefit from the scheme. The foodgrain distribution will begin from August 15, the Chief Minister said.

Fresh loans

Mr. Fadnavis also said fresh loans would be given to farmers affected by natural calamity in financial year 2014-15, and their previous loans would be restricted.

Interest would be waived on loans taken by the farmers who have been repaying their yearly instalments in the financial year 2015-16. The State will bear the interest of six per cent for four years from 2019-2020 which amounts to Rs. 1,526 crore, he said.

He said medical aid under the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Yojana will be provided to farmers in the suicide-affected districts.

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Printable version | Aug 20, 2019 4:24:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-government-extends-pds-benefits-to-apl-farmers/article7536259.ece

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