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Succour for the rain-hit

Farmers affected by the recent unseasonal rain and hailstorm will get waiver of land revenue and breather on loan repayment. Announcing a relief package in the Assembly today, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said bank loan recovery would be deferred and short-term loans would be converted to mid-term ones which could be paid back in easier installments.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 12:25 IST

Land revenue waived, farmers get breather on loan repayment

Farmers affected by the recent unseasonal rain and hailstorm will get waiver of land revenue and breather on loan repayment. Announcing a relief package in the Assembly today, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said bank loan recovery would be deferred and short-term loans would be converted to mid-term ones which could be paid back in easier installments.

Chouhan announced increase in relief amount for crop loss, including horticulture crops, death of cattle/domestic animals and for total or partial damage to houses. The relief package came at the end of a discussion in the Assembly on the rain and hailstorm.

However, the Opposition not satisfied with the package walked out of the House. They were particularly miffed at non-waiver of electricity bills of the farmers.

At the beginning of the discussion, Congress MLA from Bhopal North, Arif Aqueel, walked out protesting the absence of the Chief Minister and most of the ministers.

Replying to the discussion, Revenue Minister Kamal Patel said assessment of losses has begun and in many places relief/compensation for human deaths and crop loss was being distributed.

Patel said the rains, hailstorm and the accompanying lightning killed 43 people across the State in the last 10 days and crops on an estimated 45,710 hectares were damaged. As many as 114 people were injured, 142 cattle/domestic animals died, 2172 houses were damaged and 1500 villages affected.

However, the Chief Minister and Revenue Minister conceded that these were initial figures and surveys were still on for the actual estimate of the loss.

Chouhan said his Government would need Central assistance to cope with the calamity and urged the Opposition to join the effort for an economic package from the UPA Government.

Giving details of relief hike for crop losses, Chouhan said that for farmers with land less than four hectares, the relief amount for losses of more than 50 per cent has been increased to Rs 3000 per hectare from the earlier Rs 2000. For the losses between 25-50 per cent, the amount has been increased to Rs 1500 from Rs 1000.

For land between four and 10 hectares with 50-75 per cent loss, the amount has been increased to Rs 1250 from Rs 1000. For losses more than 75 per cent, the relief will be Rs 2500 as against earlier Rs 2000. The maximum limit of the compensation has been increased to Rs 20,000 from present Rs 12,000.

For the land above 10 hectares, for losses more than 75 per cent, the compensation has been increased to Rs 1250 from Rs 1000 and the maximum limit has been increased to Rs 20,000 from Rs 12,000.

As for horticulture crops, the compensation per tree has been increased to Rs 250 from Rs 200 and the

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 12:25 IST