Crop damage: UP govt may have to compensate farmers liberally
Lucknow: A large number of farmers in Uttar Pradesh are all set to be compensated for their crop losses caused by recent widespread downpour as well as floods in several districts, with the state government ready to go the extra mile to please peasants before the coming assembly polls, people in the know of things said.
The government, according to them, may announce a relief package for affected farmers once it received the actual estimates of crop losses from districts where the teams of the revenue and agriculture departments are currently conducting surveys. They are expected to submit their findings to the government by early next week.
According to people in the agriculture department, the extended monsoon rain and floods are believed to have caused extensive loss to the standing and ripe crops in almost all the districts, requiring a heavy compensation to farmers.
“The paddy and the groundnut crops that were ready for harvesting, apart from many vegetables, were washed out by the incessant downpour in most of the districts in September and October and floods in the terai and the eastern parts,” a senior official said.
“This poses a big challenge to the government which has to liberally compensate farmers not only by giving them cash but also several other concessions in terms of recovery electricity bills, land revenue etc to preempt the issue falling into the Opposition’s hands in the poll year” he added.
Additional chief secretary, agriculture, Devesh Chaturvedi said that agriculture and revenue departments were making assessment of crop damages in all the affected districts.
“Based on the loss assessment reports that we expect to receive very soon, the revenue department will give compensation to all the affected farmers while the agriculture department will compensate farmers covered under the crop insurance scheme,” he revealed. He said around 25 lakh farmers were insured for kharif.
The government, it is said, will soon write to the Centre demanding financial assistance under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) after the actual crop damages assessment is received.
However, not all farmers who have lost their crops to rains in September and October may get the compensation from the government since many of them may not qualify for relief under the norms, despite the crop damages that may look to be considerable to them.
“For a crop loss to be compensated due to a natural disaster such as drought, heavy rain, flood etc, the damage should be more than 33% and any damage assessed to be below that will be compensated for as per the Centre’s existing guidelines,” a revenue department official pointed out. “But the state government is free to find ways to help such farmers, if it wants to and can afford, from its own resources,” he added.
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