Gujarat Congress seeks compensation for farmers hit by untimely rains
The Gujarat Congress on Wednesday demanded Rs 20,000 per hectare compensation from the state government, for farmers affected by recent unseasonal rains.
Gandhinagar: The Gujarat Congress on Wednesday demanded Rs 20,000 per hectare compensation from the state government, for farmers affected by recent unseasonal rains.
Agriculture Minister Babu Bokhiria conceded in the State Legislative Assembly that unseasonal rains have caused a loss of around 10 to 15 percent to Rabi crops and about 10 percent to the mango crop.
Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Shankarsinh Vaghela, lashed out at the BJP-led Gujarat government and said that state should take suo-motu initiative to assess the damage to farmers and give them proper compensation.
"It is the responsibility of the state government to take suo-motu initiative to know about the loss suffered by our farmers due to recent untimely rains. We demand from the state government to provide compensation of Rs 20,000 per hectare to the affected farmers ," Vaghela said.
"We know crops especially the crops of cumin which was ready for harvest got damaged in the recent rains. Grains and cereals have been damaged in our marketing-yards. Government should not depend on old bureaucratic ways to assess the loss.. It should think for farmers on humanitarian grounds. The criteria of providing compensation in a situation where 50 percent crops have been damaged, should be dropped in interest of farmers," he demanded.
"Instead of wasting crores of rupees in state-sponsored festivals, the amount can be utilised for the interest of farmers," Vaghela demanded.
Earlier, Bokhiria told the Assembly that Gujarat has witnessed unseasonal rains in 139 taluka places.
"As per the primary assessment, Rabi crops of cumin, wheat, tobacco, Isabgul, grams and coriander have suffered a loss to the tune of 10 to 15 percent for the crop which was ready to be harvested this season. We have been conducting a detailed survey in this regard. While, districts like Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Kutch and Vadodara have witnessed a loss of around 10 percent in mango crops also," he said.
According to norms of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), if agriculture suffers a loss of more than 50 percent, then compensation can be given in such circumstances, he said. We will take applications from farmers and will try to provide them financial relief according to the settled principles of law, he said.
Earlier, Congress leaders and whip of the party in the Assembly, Balwantsinh Rajput along with MLA from Una constituency Punja Vansh pressed the demand for the compensation by moving a short call notice under Assembly rule 116.
BJP MLAs Sanjay Patel from Khambhat Assembly seat and Chiman Shapariya from Jamjodhopur constituency had also made request before the Assembly speaker Ganpat Vasava to hold discussion over the issue.
Gujarat witnessed unseasonal rains on March 1 and 2.