The compensation amount for farmers from around 24,000 villages, who have been hit by drought, unseasonal rains and hailstorms, will be deposited to their accounts by January 26, the state Cabinet said on Tuesday.
The natural calamities have resulted in major crop loss during the rabi season in about 50% of the state, affecting crops of on 1.12 lakh hectares in the past three months. It has also led to suicides in parts of Vidarbha and Marathwada.
The state government had announced a relief package of Rs 7,000 crore, including the Rs 6,013 crore sought from the Centre. The government has announced Rs 4,500 a hectare for rainfed, Rs 9,000 a hectare for irrigated and Rs 12,000 a hectare for horticultural crops as compensation for the loss, under the supplementary provision in the winter session last month.
Of the Rs 2,000 crore released by the government, Rs 845 crore is to be distributed to the farmers in Aurangabad region, Rs 500.93 crore in Amaravati region, Rs 386.62 crore in Nashik region and Rs 259.4 crore in Nagpur region. The district collectors have been directed to ensure the relief funds are credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. The farmers with no bank accounts have been advised to open a zero balance account under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana.
Senior ministers claimed it will become impossible for them to face people, if the relief amount is not distributed at the earliest. The Cabinet members have requested chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for time-bound disbursement of the money.
According to the officials from the relief and rehabilitation department, the government has directed the district administration to ensure the funds are given out on priority basis.