New Delhi: As per the latest information received from States, the area damaged due to untimely rains and hailstorm has been reduced to 85 lakh hectares. This is a substantial drop in contrast to earlier report of 113 lakh hectares.
Prime Minister has today made two major announcements. He has increased the relief by 50% given to farmers from NDRF as well as reduced the minimum area of damage for relief to 33% from the existing 50%. These benefits would be applicable to states affected with recent hailstorm. Distressed farmers will be benefitted from this.
The Agriculture Ministry has directed states to disburse relief from SDRF without any delay and in case of shortfall, they should use their State Contingency Funds as well as submit their memorandums to avail assistance from NDRF. Memorandums have been received from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has been set to Uttar Pradesh and is going soon to Haryana and Rajasthan.
Agriculture Ministry has also directed the State Governments to ensure faster processing of claims under the agriculture insurance schemes.
Agriculture Ministry has also asked states to facilitate timely restructuring of crop loans by holding meetings of State Level Bankers’ Committee. With this, the loan repayment period would be extended by one year.
The Home Ministry has also written to states to keep 10% of SDRF fund reserved for “local disasters” such as heavy rain which are to be declared at par with national disasters and use this money for distressed farmers.
In view of damage to onion and potato crops, the Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has written to all states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal where there is likelihood of increase in their prices, to purchase and maintain stocks of the same.
Under Market Intervention Scheme, Agriculture Ministry has written to West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to make assessments of damaged crops of onion and potato and send proposals as per guidelines.
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