Other States

‘Doubt if govt. can cope with rain damage’

Flattened: A farmer checks his wheat crop, damaged by rain, at Kondi village in Solapur on Monday.

Flattened: A farmer checks his wheat crop, damaged by rain, at Kondi village in Solapur on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Raju Sanadi

Raju Shetti hits out at MVA govt. for ‘floundering’ in implementation of crop loan waiver scheme

With yet another bout of unseasonal rain ravaging parts of the State, especially Marathwada, Vidarbha and western Maharashtra, farmers’ leader and Swabhimani Paksha chief Raju Shetti has claimed that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is incapable of dealing with this fresh crisis affecting the rabi crop.

“The scale of the damage wrought by the rain in the past 72 hours is undoubtedly massive. I doubt whether this government has the wherewithal to cope with this as it seems to be floundering in the implementation of its loan waiver scheme announced in December,” Mr. Shetti said to The Hindu.

Intense rain has been pounding parts of Beed in Marathwada, Akola in Vidarbha, and tehsils in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Solapur in western Maharashtra since Saturday, wreaking havoc on fruit orchards, especially the grape crop, as well as the Rabi sorghum (jowar) and chickpea crops.

The former Hatkanangale MP also alleged that officials in the State Revenue Department were in cahoots with their counterparts in companies offering crop insurance and were siphoning off money from farmers.

“While farmers have been bearing the brunt of erratic climatic changes in the past three years, crop insurance firms are making hay with their corrupt practices. Despite [the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana] gathering evidence of their misdemeanour and submitting it to the government, no action has been forthcoming thus far,” Mr. Shetti said, expressing disappointment with the previous and current governments.

The MVA government announced the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule farm loan waiver scheme on December 21 last year, under which farmers with loans up to ₹2 lakh from April 1, 2015, to September 30, 2019, will get immediate relief. Last week, it rolled out the first list of 15,358 beneficiaries and second list of 21.82 lakh farmers two lists of beneficiaries.

However, Mr. Shetti criticised the slow pace of implementation. “We had gone with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress in the elections and then supported the MVA government with the expectation that it would work for the weal of the farmer. However, these hopes have been dashed,” Mr. Shetti said.

Meanwhile, State Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse said district authorities have been directed to ensure that panchnamas of the losses are done swiftly so as to decide the compensation.

Echoing Mr. Shetti, BJP State president Chandrakant Patil, too accused the MVA of inefficiency in dealing with the latest crisis. “This government has yet to recompense farmers for the crop damage suffered in October last year,” Mr. Patil said in Mumbai.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 4:46:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/doubt-if-govt-can-cope-with-rain-damage/article30967221.ece

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