The state government will be giving compensation worth Rs 205 crore to farmers as they have incurred heavy losses due to unpredictable rain and hailstorms when the Monsoon set in this year.
Crops in as many as 11 districts in Bengal were damaged due to hailstorm this year. Burdwan remains the worst affected with maximum loss. After proper assessment, the state government has decided to compensate the farmers.
As per the set norms, farmers whose 33 percent and above of the total crop has been damaged are eligible for the compensation.
The state Agriculture department had carried out the necessary assessment and survey to identify the total loss that the farmers have incurred for unpredictable rain in the Bengali months of Boisakh (mid April to mid May) and Jyeshtha (mid May to mid June).
The assessment revealed that in these two months, the farmers in the 11 districts have incurred a total loss of Rs 205 crore and the equal amount will be given to them as compensation.
Purnendu Basu, the state Agriculture minister, said: "We will be handing over the compensation in cheques to the farmers who have incurred such losses."
The initiative to help farmers get compensation and that too without much delay will help them in continuing with farming in the coming session without facing any sort of trouble.
Moreover, Bengal is the first state in India where the state government contributed the total 100 percent of the farmers' share of premium for crop insurance. Even for potato, the state government is now giving the total of the farmers' share of the premium.
In the past six years after the Mamata Banerjee government came to power, the state government had distributed agricultural input subsidy worth Rs 1336.43 crore among 32.83 lakh farmers for crop damage due to natural calamities like hailstorm, unseasonal heavy rain, flood, drought and the like under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
This is the first time ever when any state government has given such a high quantity of input subsidy relief to farmers for incurring losses due to natural calamities. It may be mentioned that Bengal is the first state in the country to waive the land tax for farmers. It was announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the Centre's hasty decision of demonetising high value notes in the country.