Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday assured “best possible relief” to the farmers hit by the unseasoal rain and hailstorms in Rajasthan.
Addressing farmers at Teemli village in Bundi district, Jaitley said Rajasthan was worst affected by the natural disaster. Farmers have not only lost their crops, but also their cost of cultivation and even foodgrains for family consumption, he added.
“Union government and the state government will share collective responsibility in providing maximum relief to the affected families,” Jaitley said.
“Attempt would be made to provide relief above the defined norms of relief schemes,” he added.
He said efforts would be made to wipe the tears of affected farmers in the best possible way during a meeting with the state government.
The minister asked the farmers to be patient. The affected farmers raised demands related to bank loans, electricity bill, crop insurance claims, house repair and foodgrains for family consumption.
Jaitley saw the hailstorm damaged house of Mukut Bihari Meena (45) in Theemli village. Meena told the minister said that 85 homes in the village were damaged by the hailstorm. Jaitley also saw Meena’s son Nikhil, who suffered an injury in his hand. The Union minister instructed district collector Anandi to provide adequate relief to the affected family.
Another villager, Nandkishore Meena, 66, told the minister that his 5-6 bigha crop was damaged and sought a hike in compensation and suspension of his bank loan. Chotulal Meena (40) demanded waiver of his electricity bill.
Jaitley said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a team of ministers to the disaster-hit states for relief. He said he would share the information on crop loss in Rajasthan with the prime minister.
Former Congress MLA CL Premi and other Congress leaders submitted a memorandum to Jaitley to demand increase in compensation to the farmers and seek replacement of weather-based crop insurance with an actual crop loss based insurance.
Earlier, Jaitley arrived in the morning at Kota airport, where Kota MP Om Birla and the district administration officials received him.
Later, Jaitley, accompanied by Union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises Girriraj Singh, Rajasthan agriculture minister Prabhulal Saini, minister of state for transport and regional MLA from Keshoraipatan in Bundi district Babulal Verma visited Theemli village.
The minister also made an aerial survey of the region to see the crop loss.