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Maharashtra to Give Compensation to Drought-hit Farmers from Own Kitty

It’s more than two months since Maharashtra had declared drought in 151 tehsils but the affected farmers are yet to get the compensation.

Abha Toppo

It’s more than two months since Maharashtra had declared drought in 151 tehsils but the affected farmers are yet to get the compensation.

The state government has asked for a relief package from the central government which is yet to be released. Hence the BJP government in the state ahead of the general elections has decided to start offering compensation from its own fund to the affected farmers rather than waiting for Centre relief package. The procedure for the same may take another one month to complete.

The state government on Tuesday had directed all the district collectors to prepare detailed list of affected cultivators within 15 days to start the process. The list will include full details of the farmers, type of crop spoiled and quantum of damage and based on this the compensation amount will be determined.

The decision was taken in the cabinet subcommittee on drought headed by Relief and Rehabilitation Minister, Chandrakant Patil, informed the officials from relief and rehabilitation department.

Patil told, “We have now decided not to wait for the Central government to release its financial package.” He told the state government will begin providing monetary aid to the drought-hit farmers from its own exchequer. The orders to begin preparations have been issued that will take 15 days to complete.”

It must be noted that Maharashtra had declared drought in 151 tehsils as per the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) norms on 31st October 2018. And all the villages under these 151 tehsils are entitled for assistance by Centre.

It has also asked for financial assistance worth Rs. 7962 crore from the Centre, of which, Rs. 7103 crore is for crop damage, Rs. 535 crore for fodder and Rs. 323 crore for water supply.

But following uproar by farmer organisations and opposition parties over leaving out affected villages from the list, Maharashtra decided to include another 318 revenue circles as drought affected.

It was also decided to give them compensation from its own pooled money as they are not eligible for compensation under NDRF rules.

As per NDRF norms, growers who sow crop on non-irrigated land are entitled to get compensation of Rs. 6,800 / hectare up to 2 hectares as compensation for crop damage. In case of irrigated land, farmers are eligible to get compensation of Rs.13, 500 /hectare.

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