Maharashtra Governor announces financial relief for rain-hit farmers




Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday announced financial relief to farmers whose crop was damaged in unseasonal rains, and ordered its immediate disbursal.

The relief entails Rs 8,000 per hectare up to two hectares for agricultural Kharif crops and Rs 18,000 per hectare up to two hectares for horticulture/perennial crops, an official statement said.

The governor also exempted wards of the affected agriculturists from paying the educational fees, it said.

Maharashtra has been under President’s Rule since November 12, as no political party could form a government in the wake of a fractured mandate in the assembly polls that failed to elect a clear winner.

The governor reviewed crop losses caused by untimely rains in various parts of the state during the months of October and November, the statement said.

“The Governor has also announced exemptions of land revenue to the affected area and examination fee of school and colleges to the wards of affected farmers,” it said.

The governor also directed the state administration to disburse the relief immediately, it added.

The then chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, had on November 2 approved Rs 10,000 crore as a special assistance for affected farmers.

The NCP and the Congress had termed the assistance “meagre” and demanded it be raised to at least Rs 25,000 crore.

Unseasonal rains and delayed retreat of monsoon had damaged Kharif crops of farmers in many districts, with Marathwada and North Maharashtra regions bearing the brunt.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ashok Chavan on Saturday said the assistance announced by the governor was “inadequate”.