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Home / India News / Chhattisgarh to launch cash transfer scheme for farmers today

Chhattisgarh to launch cash transfer scheme for farmers today

The Chhattisgarh government will on Thursday launch a scheme named after Rajiv Gandhi on the late former Prime Minister’s 19th death anniversary for direct cash transfers to around 2 million farmers in four instalments, officials aware of the matter said.

india Updated: May 21, 2020 03:19 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Farmers harvesting strawberries at a farm in Gassu on the outskirts of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Farmers harvesting strawberries at a farm in Gassu on the outskirts of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (Photo: Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

The Chhattisgarh government will on Thursday launch a scheme named after Rajiv Gandhi on the late former Prime Minister’s 19th death anniversary for direct cash transfers to around 2 million farmers in four instalments, officials aware of the matter said.

The officials said a five-member committee was constituted to study how Rs 2,500 per quintal for paddy could be ensured for the farmers as per the Congress pledge in its manifesto ahead of the 2018 assembly elections. The panel was constituted after the government procured paddy from farmers at the rate fixed by the Centre--~1,835 per quintal--in November 2019 and promised to pay the balance amount later.

“The committee recommended that ~10,000 per acre should be given to farmers, who sold the paddy at the Centre’s rate and added the benefit should also be provided for maize and sugarcane crops,” said an official in chief minister Bhupesh Baghel’s office on condition of anonymity.

The beneficiaries of the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojna, which was approved by the Chhattisgarh cabinet on May 14, will be chosen on the basis of registered land under cultivation during the kharif crop season 2019. ~10,000 per acre will be deposited in the bank accounts of each beneficiary as agriculture assistance grant for cultivation.

Baghel said Congress leadership has been advocating direct transfer. “We have decided to put money in the farmers’ pockets again. I am confident that this will help in the revival of economy post-Covid-19 pandemic.”

Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi have repeatedly asked the government to provide direct cash assistance instead of loans to tide over the Covid-19 crisis while criticising the Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore package that includes cheaper loans. Gandhi on Saturday said the government should not be a “sahukar [money lender]” while arguing in favour of the cash assistance.

Activist Alok Shukla said, “If the government is claiming it as Nyay Yojna, why have not the state’s all 3 million paddy farmers been covered under the scheme?”

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party dismissed the scheme as “Anyay Yojna”. “The money is being given to the farmers in four instalments which will be of no use,” BJP spokesman Sacchinand Upasane said. He added the government had promised to give the remaining amount of the price it had pledged to procure paddy at in one instalment

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