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₹8,000 cr. relief package for Maharashtra farmers

Maharashtra Governor B. S. Koshyari at a meeting with senior government officials in Mumbai on Saturday.

Maharashtra Governor B. S. Koshyari at a meeting with senior government officials in Mumbai on Saturday.  

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Governor’s first major decision after imposition of President’s Rule will benefit nearly one crore farmers

In his first major decision after imposition of President’s Rule in the State, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday announced a financial relief for nearly one crore farmers affected by unseasonal rains.

Senior officials said the overall relief package is worth nearly ₹8,000 crore to cover crop damages spread over 89 lakh hectares in Vidarbha, Marathwada, and parts of western Maharashtra. The financial aid, as announced by the Governor, works out to approximately ₹8,000 per hectare up to two hectare for agricultural kharif crops and a relief of ₹18,000 per hectare up to two hectares for horticulture/ perennial crops, officials said.

In addition to the relief package, the Governor also announced exemption of land revenue to the affected area and exemption of examination fee of school and colleges to the wards of farmers whose crops have been damaged. The Governor directed the State administration to disburse the relief immediately, senior officials said.

The additional money will have to be sought from the Centre in the form of an Appropriation Bill to be passed by Parliament in the upcoming winter session, senior officials said. “The Governor today took stock of the damage to crops caused by unseasonal rains during October-November 2019 and announced the financial relief to the affected farmers,” an official from the Governor’s office said.

Earlier this week, a section of farmers held protests against the Governor, demanding speedy disbursal of compensation. The assessment of the damage took time due to the model code for conduct of elections being in place for the Assembly elections. This after a Cabinet sub-committee headed by the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had approved ₹10,000 crore to provide immediate assistance to farmers. But the decision could not be formalised with the imposition of President’s Rule.

According to an official estimate, major damage has been to corn, millet, and cotton crops. The total damaged area is estimated to be 88.74 lakh hectares. The State government had proposed to Governor compensation based on the norms set by the National Disaster Response Force, which ranges between ₹6,800 per hectare to a maximum of ₹18,000, depending on the variety.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:43:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/8000-cr-relief-package-for-maharashtra-farmers/article29995490.ece

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