The Gujarat government on Monday announced relief of R1,100 crore for farmers, including R500 crore relief in electricity bills and R600 crore relief in interest on short-term loan through 50% waiver. Over and above this, the state extended R700 crore assistance to farmers during the ongoing statewide Ravi Krishi Mahotsav.
A statement released by ministers Nitin Patel, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Babu Bokhiria said that as per an estimate, Gujarat is expected to produce 1.20 crore bales of cotton this year. Each year, Gujarat exports cotton bales to China as well as other nations. However, owing to bumper produce of cotton in these countries, export of cotton bales has taken a hit. The statement said farmers have taken R21,000 crore as short term crop loan from cooperative and nationalised banks and as per this, they will need to pay R11,00 crore as interest. The state has decided to pay half of this amount from its exchequer to provide relief.
Bharatiya Kisan Sangh’s Gujarat unit president Magan Patel welcomed the announcement but said the government has accepted only 50% demands of farmers.