Krishak Bandhu: Mamata's New Year gift to farmers
Kolkata: As a New Year gift to the farmers of the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced the 'Krishak Bandhu' scheme that includes a compensation of Rs 2 lakh, in case of death of a farmer between the age group of 18-60 and a yearly cash assistance of Rs 5,000 per acre.
"We have a total of around 72 lakh farmers in the state. We do not want them to suffer by any means. The financial assistance would be paid both in case of natural and unnatural deaths. We will start the scheme from tomorrow (January 1) and the farmers will be able to apply for availing of the benefits from February 1," Banerjee said while addressing a Press conference at Nabanna.
She said that the state government will have to incur expenses to the tune of hundreds of crores but the move will guarantee that the families are not completely at a loss in case of the death of a farmer. "We will cut down expenses on certain other things and dole out the assistance for the farmers," she added.
Banerjee announced that the sum of Rs 5,000 will be given in two installments of Rs 2,500 twice a year, for growing a single crop per acre of land. The state government will be spending the money from the budgetary allocation of the state Agriculture department.
The Mamata Banerjee government has been constantly taking steps for upliftment of the socio economic condition of farmers in the state. "We pay the premium for farmers adopting the crop insurance scheme. We have already waived off the mutation fee on agricultural land," she maintained.
She further stated that while the Centre has been claiming to double the income of farmers by 2022, her government has already tripled it in the last seven years of the Trinamool Congress rule. The average annual income of farmers has tripled from Rs 91,000 (in 2010-11) to Rs 2.91 lakh (in 2017-18).
Sixty-nine lakh farmers have been given Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) and the process of direct transfer of subsidy under various schemes directly to KCC and bank accounts of farmers was started in 2012.
Responding to a poser on women issues, Banerjee urged political parties to give 33 percent reservation to women in the Parliament and the state Assemblies.
"We are in favour of women's issues. I request all political parties to give 33 percent reservation to women. We will fight for women wherever we feel that injustice is being meted out to them. We will support all the causes that ensure justice. The BJP cannot make it a political issue just because it suits them," she maintained.