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Chhattisgarh Government to Waive 207 Cr Irrigation Taxes of Farmers: Bhupesh Baghel

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel announced to waive farmers’ outstanding irrigation taxes worth Rs 207 crore. It is a move that will benefit 15 lakh farmers in the state.

Tooba Maher

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel announced to waive farmers’ outstanding irrigation taxes worth Rs 207 crore. It is a move that will benefit 15 lakh farmers in the state. 

At his Republic Day address on the Police Parade grounds in Raipur, Mr. Baghel called for a permanent solution to improve the economic condition of farmers. 

However, the CM’s announcement comes just over a month after his government decided to waive farmers’ short-term agricultural loans worth 6,230 crore and hike the MSP for paddy to Rs 2,500, fulfilling the promises made by the Congress before the Assembly polls. 

“Sinchai kar or irrigation tax to the tune of 207 crore is pending from last 15 years as on October, 2018 will be written off. As many as 15 lakh farmers will be benefited from the decision,” Mr. Baghel said.  

He further added, “Without freeing farmers from the clutches of debts, their condition and that of their villages cannot be improved. Hence, in the first cabinet meeting, it was decided to waive loans to the tune of 6,230 crore of around 16.65 lakh farmers.” 

To ensure good returns to farmers for their produce, in the first cabinet meeting we fulfilled our promise to procure paddy at Rs 2,500 per quintal. To improve the economic condition of farmers a permanent solution has to be chalked out and a scheme that will yield long-term results should be introduced, he said. 

For the revival and conservation of village rivulets, conservation of livestock, production of organic manure and horticulture development, an extensive work plan is being prepared. The remuneration of tendu leaves collectors has now been increased from 2,500 per sack to 4,000 per sack, which will help in the empowerment of forest dwellers and tribals,” he said. 

Baghel also said to ensure justice to the families of those killed in tragic Jhiram valley Naxal attack in 2013, a strong step has been taken and a SIT was constituted to probe the incident. Similarly, another SIT was set up to probe alleged scam in state civil supply corporation, which operates public distribution system in the state. 

Informing about other decisions of his government, he said, lands acquired for a mega steel plant in Lohandiguda area of Batsar a decade ago are being returned to farmers. “To set up a large-scale industry in Lohandiguda of Bastar, land of more than 1,700 farmers was acquired. In 10 years, neither the industry was established and nor the farmers got back their land. No ideal rehabilitation policy was followed in land acquisition,” he said. 

Baghel further said, “After coming to power, we decided to return land of over 1,764 hectares in 10 affected villages to ensure justice to tribals. He alleged that freedom of expression was in danger in the state since the last few years.” 

According to him, “Freedom of expression is the first condition of democracy and hence, the state government has started drafting journalist protection law in support of a free press.” 

Over the liquor ban in the state, Baghel said the government was moving ahead with caution on the prohibition. 

“The state government has created two committees for the purpose, one of them will be an all-party political committee and the other one would be from different sections of the society,” he said. A comprehensive campaign will be run to make people aware of the ills of alcohol consumption, he added. 

On the Naxal menace, he said, “It is our resolution to put an end to the violent activities of anti-constitutional elements in the name of Naxalism.” 

He, however said, steps will be taken in the direction to reach a permanent solution after taking into consideration the views of the tribals, social workers, journalists, security forces and others. 

Earlier, the CM unfurled the tricolor and received guard of honour from the joint parade of various units of security personnel, National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme, Scout and Guide students at the Parade Ground. 

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