Rajasthan seeks funds for frost-hit farmers

February 27th, 2008 - 9:04 pm ICT by admin  

Jaipur, Feb 27 (IANS) The Rajasthan state assembly Wednesday passed a resolution urging the central government to allow the calamity relief fund to be used to provide help to farmers whose crops were damaged by frost. Twenty-two Rajasthan districts suffered crop damage due to continued cold wave conditions for more than a month.

The state government announced a relief package of Rs.1.26 billion and asked the centre to come to the rescue of farmers by providing assistance under calamity relief fund (CRF).

“The state government has provided a relief package of Rs.1.26 billion, but this was inadequate and the union government should come and help the state government by providing assistance under CRF,” state Relief Minister L.N. Dave said.

“We have requested the union government to cover crop damages due to frost under CRF norms as a special case,” Dave said.

Congress legislators C.P. Joshi, Zubair Khan and B.D. Kalla however said the state government had not fully utilised the money it had in the fund, and this should be used to provide relief to the farmers.

After the issue was raised, the state relief minister gave details of the relief package and the steps taken by the government to protect the frost hit farmers. But, his response failed to convince the Congress legislators and they staged a walkout in protest.

The Rajasthan government had announced Feb 15 a relief package of Rs.1.26 billion for the farmers whose crops were damaged by frost and extreme cold weather conditions.

Under this relief package, farmers would be given aid along with exemption of electricity bills of last four months.

Frost hit farmers would be given a compensation of Rs.3,000 per hectare on non irrigated land while Rs.4,000 per hectare would be provided for irrigated land.

Small and marginal farmers have been exempted from paying electricity bills of the last four months.

Collection of revenue tax and loans has been temporarily put on hold in the areas that suffered 50 percent crop damage.

As per official sources, about 137,287 farmers of 22 districts would get relief from the compensation package.

Disbursement of grants will start before the first week of March.

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