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Govt assures all help to farmers hit by unseasonal rain

Last modified March 23, 2015 15:04

The Statesman. New Delhi, 20 March 2015

Members from different political parties in the Rajya Sabha today discussed the plight of farmers hit by the unseasonal rain and hailstorms in the northern and western parts of the country. The government promised to take all administrative and relief measures to help the farmers. Acknowledging the unanimous voice on the issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would act "with compassion and without going into technicalities" of the matter. He informed the House that the Agriculture Minister has constituted separate teams for each state to assess the losses and all the three Ministers have started visiting the affected states from today. Mr Jaitley's remarks came after the Congress, BSP, JD(U) and CPI(M) all demanded that the Centre should immediately announce financial assistance, waive interest on the loans given to farmers and assess the extent of damage to crops. Mr KC Tyagi of JD-U, who initiated the discussion in the House, said though crops worth Rs 22,000 crore (1 crore = 10 million) have been destroyed due to the unseasonal rains, the insurance companies were assessing crop loss at no more than Rs 1,000 crore. Former Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar spoke at length on the damage to crops from drought, unseasonal rain and hailstorms and asked the Centre to help the farmers and waive short-term loans particularly crop loans as well as the interest on loans for purchase of agriculture equipment.

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