Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan and union minister of state for agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan on Tuesday assured the Haryana government of maximum possible relief to farmers whose rabi crops had been damaged by recent rains and hailstorm.
Briefing newspersons after holding a meeting with Haryana chief minister ML Khattar, agriculture minister OP Dhankar and senior department officials here, both the union ministers also assured that they would also take up other demands of the state government, including the interim relief of about `1135 crore and relaxation in the quality norms of the damaged crops, mainly wheat, with the Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh as well as in the Cabinet meeting. They said they were scheduled to visit various affected areas of Haryana later in the day.
To the question of implementation of Swaminathan commission recommendations, especially enhancing the minimum support prices (MSPs) for crops, Balyan said that the Union government had decided to implement the same in phased manner. The government was clear about lifting the entire stock as well as giving the best possible relief to the farmers, he added.
Paswan also said that Khattar had also sought `100 bonus per quintal over and above the MSP of wheat, relaxation in standard quality norms for wheat procurement in current Rabi season and special central assistance of `1136 crore to compensate the loss to crops which would be taken up in the Cabinet. Khattar had also sought `10,000 per acre for the completely destroyed crops, he said.
Describing the BJP government at the Centre and state as pro-farmer and pro-poor, Paswan said that a false propaganda was created against the BJP government, but the main aim of the government was to ensure the welfare of farmers, the poor and down-trodden.
In reply to another question, he said that Central teams were visiting all the states where the crop had been damaged due to flood, rain or hailstorm and not only ones run by the BJP-government.
Khattar, who also replied to questions of mediapersons, said that `1136 crore relief had been sought for the crop which had been damaged till March 22, and as the rains had continued thereafter as well, the state might need more relief.
He said that compensation should also be calculated in the slabs of 0-10%, 11 to 25%, 26 to 50%, 51 to 75% and 76 to 100%. At present, the Central government did not give compensation on crop loss upto 50%.
On the special girdawari, he said the final report, which was to come by March 31, would now be received by April 7.
Khattar made it clear that state government would compensate each farmer within a month after getting the final report of girdawari.
He said that the worst-hit areas included Bawal tehsil in Rewari district, Rewari tehsil, Khol and Kosli tehsils in Rewari, Nuh and Punhana tehsils in Mewat and Taoru and Hathin tehsils in Palwal district.