Staff Reporter, Bhopal
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that state government stands by hailstorm-affected farmers in this hour of extraordinary crisis. State government will take extraordinary decisions to provide relief to farmers. Ideal crop insurance scheme will be chalked out by state government. A Loan Relief Commission will be constituted to deal with such situations. Besides, a Natural Disaster Relief Fund will also be set up to provide immediate relief to farmers. The Chief Minister has urged farmers to have patience and courage. Every possible assistance will be provided to them. Chouhan chaired a high-level emergency meeting regarding losses to crops due to excessive rains and hailstorm. Cabinet members and senior officers were present at the meeting.
The Chief Minister said that as per preliminary information, crops have suffered damage in 9 thousand 584 villages in 49 districts. It is hour of crisis for farmers. State government has initiated every possible step to deal with it. Loan recovery from farmers has been suspended and interest on loan for this period will be paid by state government. Farmers’ over 50 percent loss will be considered as 100 percent loss and they will be provided compensation at the rate of Rs. 15 thousand per hectare. Assistance of Rs. 25 thousand each will be given for marriage of such farmers’ daughters. State government will also provide relief on 25 percent to 50 percent loss. He directed officers to ensure that no moneylender makes forceful recovery from affected farmers. Farmers who have suffered over 50 percent losses will be provided wheat and rice at the rate of Re. 1 per kg. Loan recovery period of farmers who have availed interest-free loans will be extended.
Chief Minister Chouhan has directed all ministers to monitor relief distribution in their respective districts. Joint teams of Revenue, Agriculture and Panchayat departments have been formed to ensure total transparency. Teams of senior officers will undertake monitoring to ensure that farmers get benefit of crop insurance scheme.
A committee comprising Agriculture Production Commissioner, Additional Chief Secretary Finance and Principal Secretary Revenue will undertake centralized monitoring of relief amount’s distribution. Strict action will be taken against indifference in survey. Additional budget for relief to farmers will be made in vote on account. If required, farmers will be provided relief through deductions in budget for development works. Chouhan urged people of the state to be ready for this sacrifice. He urged Centre to declare this crisis as national calamity and send teams immediately to assess losses.