14 September, New Delhi
In order to provide immediate relief to the farmers, in view of the deficit monsoon during Kharif season, the Union Government has taken a number of decisions such as allocation of additional days of work under MGNREGA to households, diesel subsidy and enhancement of ceiling on Seed subsidy. The Centre has already issued orders on these measures all state governments, the Agriculture Ministry said here Monday .
The government has decided to provide an additional 50 days of unskilled manual work in the financial year over and above the 100 days assured to job card holders in such rural areas where drought or natural calamities has been notified. This will enable states to provide additional wage employment to rural poor in drought affected areas.The poorest rural households will benefit from this, as it will help in immediate absorption of rural seasonal unemployment and reduce rural distress.
The Ministry said it has been decided to provide diesel subsidy to the farmers to enable them to provide life saving irrigation through diesel pump sets in the drought and deficit rainfall areas to protect the standing crops. The farmers in the affected regions will be covered during the current South-West monsoon period till 30 September.
The scheme on diesel subsidy will be implemented with the participation of the State governments, with a view to offset the cost of diesel used for pumping water for providing supplementary irrigation/protective irrigation.
The scheme will be applicable to such districts, talukas, areas where the rainfall deficit is more than 50 per cent as on 15th July (as reported by India Meteorological Department); to such districts, talukas, areas, which have been declared as drought affected area by the respective Governments; areas with prolonged dry spell continuously for 15 days, that is scanty rainfall deficit of 60 per cent more of normal for any continuous 15 days period, after the onset date of Monsoon as per reports of IMD.
It is proposed to provide 50 per cent subsidy on the cost of diesel (Rs 2000 per hectare) to the affected farmers, limited to a maximum of two hectares per farmer. The cost of assistance provided shall be shared between the Centre and the State on 50:50 basis.
In order to compensate the farmers in the drought affected districts for the additional expenditure incurred in the sowing and purchasing appropriate varieties of drought resistant seeds it has been decided to raise the extant ceiling on seed subsidy by 50 per cent over existing levels for distribution in drought notified districts. The enhancement is valid till December 31.