Aid of about Rs 1.8K crore transferred to over 70L farmers

Aid of about Rs 1.8K crore transferred to over 70L farmers

KOLKATA: At a time when farmers were crushed under vehicles allegedly driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in Lakhimpur Kheri, the Mamata Banerjee government has ensured direct benefit transfer (DBT) worth Rs 1,825 crore to more than 70 lakh farmers in Bengal in a record time after launching the enhanced Krishak Bandhu scheme, keeping her poll promise.

Banerjee had promised to increase the financial support under the scheme to Rs 10,000 if she returns to power. Within a month of forming the government for the third consecutive term, the Bengal government had launched the Krishak Bandhu (new) scheme on June 17. The farmers now receive an increased financial support from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for one acre or more of cultivable land and those having less than one acre receive a minimum of Rs 4,000 per annum.

Around 8 lakh farmers have been brought under the scheme through the Duare Sarkar programme held from August 16 to September 15. "The task of transferring the benefits in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, including the new 8 lakh applicants, has been completed in a record time to ensure timely implementation of the dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," said Agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay.

The farmers get the assistance in two phases. "We have successfully completed the DBT of the first phase for the Kharif crop. The second installment for the boro crop will take place in November and December," said a state government officer.

At the same time, the state government has also ensured support of crop insurance worth Rs 386 crore to 19 lakh farmers at the time when the state is witnessing repeated floods and natural calamities.

This comes when the two most important components of the state budget this time were 58.26 per cent social service expenditure and 26.29 per cent for agriculture and its allied sector.

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