Chhattisgarh to pay ₹10,000 to paddy farmers
The Congress’s revamping of the UPA-style welfarism has begun in Chhattisgarh with the tribal State beginning a direct benefit scheme of ₹10,000 per acre to 19 lakh farmers from May 21.
Talking to BusinessLine from Raipur, Chief Minister Bhupesh Singh Bhagel said the scheme is aimed to provide adequate price to the farmers for their crops.
To support more crops
“We’re starting with paddy growers but the scheme will be extended to sugarcane and maize farmers this year. Everyone who registers with the State Government will be a beneficiary,” said Bhagel.
The Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana will be launched by Baghel from May 21 by handing over the first instalment under the ₹5,700-crore scheme to 19 lakh beneficiaries. The money will be disbursed in four instalments. The payment of ₹10,000 per acre of paddy is over and above the MSP for the crop.
“The Nyay scheme that Congress had promised to implement in its manifesto was aimed at ensuring minimum income for the poor through direct bank transfer. Soon after the formation of the Government in Chhattisgarh, work was started regarding the economic strengthening of farmers, tribals and labourers. Now, Under the State government’s Rajiv Gandhi’s Kisan Nyay Yojana, starting from May 21 on the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the exchange of funds for paddy, maize and sugarcane (rabi) crops will be transferred to the farmers’ account on the basis of the area registered and acquired in kharif 2019,” said Bhagel.
According to a senior official in the State government, although 19 lakh farmers have so far registered, the benefits are expected to reach over 20 lakh farmers.
For this, a provision of ₹5,100 crore has been made in the budget. The balance will be arranged. Earlier, the State Government had waived loan amounting to ₹8,800 crore for about 18 lakh farmers. Apart from this, steps like compensation of four times the value of agricultural land acquisition, irrigation tax forgiveness have also been taken,” said the official.
During the lockdown period, the Chhattisgarh government generated employment under the Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Scheme that directly benefitted 23 lakh villagers while for people depending on forest produce, collection of 16.71 lakh standard sacks of tendu leaves with which about 12.53 lakh collectors will be benefited was fixed in the forest areas of the State.
Chhattisgarh accounts for 98 per cent of the total forest produce across India.
In the current season, the government has committed to pay ₹649 crore to people dependent on forest produce. The State government is giving an additional incentive of ₹13 per kg for the fixed support price of Mahua flower at ₹17 per kg. Similarly, in addition to the support price in the purchase of Kusumi lac, Rangeeni lac and Kullu gum, additional incentive is being given by the State government.
About 44 per cent area of Chhattisgarh is covered by forest, 31 per cent of the population belongs to tribal community. Forest produce is the major source of income for millions of families in the State.
To increase the income of the tribals, the government has ensured the middle-market free system and purchase of forest produce at the right price. Tendu leaf collection rate increased to ₹4,000 per standard bag. Also, the number of forest produce purchased at support price has been increased to 25 from 7.