State government fully committed to assisting drought-hit farmers

CM Mr. Chouhan holds discussions with central study team

cm11.11.15Bhopal, November 11, 2015 (Ataullah Faizan):   Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a meeting with Central study team which has visited drought-hit areas of the state, here today. The Chief Minister said that state is facing severe drought this year. The state government is making efforts to extend every possible assistant to farmers. Assistance of Rs. 4498 crore has been sought from the Centre. The team should submit its report to the Central government at the earliest, so that assistance can be obtained. The Chief Minister said that drought has been caused in some districts due to sudden excessive rains, deficient rains and big gap between rain spells in other districts. Besides, yellow beetle disease has also destroyed soybean crops.

Crops in about 44 lakh hectares in 33 thousand villages have been affected. The Chief Minister said that the state government has suspended loan and electricity bill recovery from farmers. It has been decided to provide them wheat, rice and salt at the rate of Re. one per kg and assistance for marriage of daughters. The state government is curtailing budget under other heads by 15 percent to assist farmers. Mr. Chouhan said that though concerned over drought situation, he is fully committed to assisting farmers. For this, Central assistance is needed. A memorandum has been sent regarding this. He urged the Central team to submit its report at the earliest. The Chief Minister also urged that NABARD should adopt refinancing system like past. He also informed the team of system to deposit wheat procurement amounts directly in the bank accounts of farmers.

He also suggested to prescribe minimum amount of crop insurance. Besides, he also extended Deepawali greetings.  Chief Secretary Mr. Anthony de Sa informed that 84 thousand out of 89 thousand crop cutting experiments have been made in the state. Of 26 thousand crop cutting exercises for paddy, 23 thousand have been done. He informed that Central government has been urged to give Rs. 3428 crore for input subsidy, Rs. 300 crore for drinking water and Rs. 770 crore for repayment of loans. Besides, appeal was also made for amounts of MNREGA and crop insurance.

In-charge of Central study team Union Joint Secretary Agriculture Mr. Amitabh Gautam informed that 3 Central teams have visited 10 districts in the state including Rewa, Satna, Sidhi Shahdol, Anuppur, Umaria, Sagar, Panna, Damoh and Katni. They held discussions with farmers and inspected crop loss. Drought has affected crops of soybean, urad, moong and paddy. Water level in reservoirs has depleted due to which problems pertaining to drinking water and fodder may crop up in future. The team suggested to bring diversity in crops, adopt crop cycle change and chalk out an action plan for next Kharif season.