India - Maharashtra offers Rs 10,000 crore relief to farmers who lost crop


A compensation package of Rs 10,000 crore was approved by the state cabinet on Wednesday for farmers who suffered crop loSs due to heavy rain between June and October this year. 

The compensation being offered by the state is higher than that offered by the Centre under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). While the state has declared Rs 10,000 a hectare for non-irrigated land, the amount is Rs 6,800 as per Centre's norms. Also, the state pays Rs 15,000 relief a hectare for irrigated land, for which the Centre offers Rs 13,500. For perennial crops, relief of Rs 25,000 will be paid. A farmer is eligible to get compensation for up to two hectares.

 Monetary relief announced by the state is higher than the prescribed norms under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), said officials. The state government started offering higher compensation from 2019 when cyclone Nisarg ravaged coastal districts. 

This monsoon, over 55 lakh hectares of cropped area - nearly 40% of the total in the state -were damaged in heavy rain triggered by cyclone Gulab in September. Most of the affected land is from Marathwadathat lost over 20 lakh hectares.

State agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse said that the state has decided to help farmers without awaiting the Centre's decision. "This decision will benefit farmers who have been severely affected due to the natural disasters," said Bhuse.

Officials said that a similar package of Rs 11,500 crore was announced by the state in August after the heavy damage caused in the coastal districts, especially Raigad and Ratnagiri. Officials said that a major part of this package was kept for immediate assistance and long- term mitigation measures. "This Rs 10,000 crore that the government has announced will include the crop assistance package that was announced in August," an official said.

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