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Odisha CM Announces Rs. 200 Crore Relief Package for Drought-Hit Farmers

Ahead of elections, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik offered input assistance of about Rs 200 crore for distressed farmers in the state's drought-affected districts on Tuesday,

Sonali Behera
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik offered input assistance of about Rs 200 crore for distressed farmers.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik offered input assistance of about Rs 200 crore for distressed farmers.

According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Tuesday, the entire expenditure will be borne by the Odisha government.

The announcement by Naveen Patnaik comes after farmers in the Padampur assembly constituency signed a petition and demanded input subsidies and claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for agricultural losses sustained during Kharif 2021. They have also asked all political parties not to participate in the by-election unless their demands are met.

According to estimates, about 2,63,560 hectares of crop land in 64 blocks and 15 urban local bodies (ULBs) in 12 districts in Odisha have experienced crop losses of 33% or worse, as per government sources.

Many dought-affected farmers have not yet received crop insurance payments, despite the state government's constant follow-up with the technical advisory council under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

The collectors of the affected districts have been asked to submit the required monies to the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and take suitable procedures to ensure that aid is disbursed immediately. According to authorities, around Rs 200 crore would be released to alleviate farmer hardship.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar while talking to media said that he reviewed the pending PMFBY claims of Bargarh farmers with his cabinet colleague Dharmendra Pradhan.

The technical advisory council formed by the government of India and the involved insurance firms has concluded in this respect.

On Monday, BJP candidate Pradip Purohit returned from the returning officer's office without registering his candidacy, as per the request of the farmers. Pradhan had met with the protesting farmers at the office premises.

As per the media reports, in response to Tomar's tweets, prominent BJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra was seen stating that it's apparent from the tweet that the pending crop insurance of farmers in Bargarh, particularly Padampur, had been pending with the Centre all along. The Union Minister is now requesting payment from insurance firms to be looked up.

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