Farmers hit as Odisha government failed to assess crop loss on time: CAG

March 24, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:47 am IST - BHUBANESWAR:

The Odisha government’s failure to declare ‘Annewari’, scientific assessment of crop yields in affected areas, in time made the natural disasters-hit farmers’ loan repayment difficult, finds the Comptroller and Auditor General.

According to CAG report on economic sector, which was tabled in the State Assembly recently, farmers were also deprived of timely compensation for crop loss as assessment of yield data was delayed by the government.

“Due to cyclone and unseasonal heavy rain in December 2010, the State government declared details of 18,882 villages in 24 districts where kharif 2010 crops were damaged after one year in March 2012. Basing on the Annewari, short term crop (STC) loans amounting to Rs.1,000.42 crore disbursed to 6,08,274 farmers were eligible for conversion into medium term crop (MTC) loan,” the CAG report says.

However, due to non-declaration of Annewari by the District Collectors, farmers had repaid their crop loans and the proposals of conversion of STC loan into MTC loan was not acted upon as a result of which farmers were deprived of relief.

The government committed similar mistake in October 2013, when cyclonic storm Phailin and subsequent flood severely damaged crop in 18 districts. The announcement of converting STC loan to MTC could not be materialised due to non-declaration of Annewari. Farmers did not get the benefit of converting STC loan amounting to Rs.1,291 crore into MTC loan.

National Agricultural Insurance Scheme guidelines provide for financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any notified crop due to natural calamities, pest attack and diseases. CAG finds that insurance claims amounting Rs.1,170.29 crore were settled with delay ranging from 45 to 252 days for various reasons such as delays in receipt of yield data and delays in release of funds from the State government.

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