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New state relief package for farmers

The Maharashtra government announced a whopping state relief package to the tune of Rs 6,208-crore for the benefit of over 40-lakh debt-ridden farmers in the state, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2008 19:54 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced a whopping state relief package to the tune of Rs 6,208-crore for the benefit of over 40-lakh debt-ridden farmers in the state.

The chief minister Ashok Chavan, who announced the package in the Assembly, said that the farmers covered under the new relief package, were the additional ones who were left out of the debt-relief scheme of the union government, announced in the union budget.

Chavan informed the House that a total of 38-lakh farmers in the state had benefited from the loan waiver scheme of the union government. The new relief package was for those farmers who had taken loans from the banks and cooperative societies but could not get the benefit from the union relief scheme. The total debt written off was Rs 7,768.86-crore under the union scheme while the new state package would provide Rs 6208-crore more to benefit the farmers, who did not get the benefit from the union budget.

"I am sure that the new relief package would boost the morale of farmers in the state, particularly in Vidarbha where farmers are facing hardship," the chief minister said. The new economic package was announced on the basis of recommendation of action taken report (ATR) of Narendra Jadhav committee that was constituted by the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

A seizable section of farmers in Vidarbha region got no benefit from the union relief package as it was given to farmers having less than 5 acres or 2 hectare. Traditionally, Vidarbha has a high number of landholdings compared with the western Maharashtra or Konkan regions and it was one of the major reasons that compelled the state government to come out with another economic package for those farmers who were left out in the union loan-waiving scheme.

While announcing the package, the chief minister also gave some additional relief to farmers of Vidarbha. In view of scarcity situation, paddy growers in Vidarbha region would get Rs 4,000 compensation for every hectare while the maximum limit would be two hectare. Similarly, the orange growers in the region would get Rs 10,000 per hectare compensation with a limit of two hectare of land.

Meanwhile, the state winter legislature session has been prorogued with immediate effect. The next budget session of the legislature would commence from March 16, 2008 in Mumbai.