Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said government is reviewing the norms to raise the compensation limit to farmers in case of drought or heavy rains damaging the crops.
Demands in this regard have been made by various states.
“I am seriously reviewing those norms with the expenditure department of the Finance Ministry and you will very shortly hear about that,” Arun Jaitley said.
Responding to a question on change in compensation norms to farmers affected by severe weather conditions like hailstorm or drought, he said, “I am personally in favour of increasing it. We will make a significant increase in that.”
Addressing reporters at the conclusion of the National Executive meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here, he said compensation to farmers affected due to crop damage was provided by the central government on the basis of old norms.
According to the official data, crop damage due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms has been reported in 106 lakh hectares in 13 states, including Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, in the current rabi season.
The government recently set up an informal group of ministers, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, to look into the issue of raising cap of financial assistance given to farmers whose crops have been affected due to unseasonal rains and other natural calamities.
Also, the Centre had asked state governments to render immediate assistance to farmers from SDRF (State Disaster Relief Fund) which has funds to the tune of Rs 5,270 crore for utilisation during the fiscal. The states had also been asked to submit a memorandum in case the expenditure was more than the available funds.
As per SDRF norms, the state governments can give input subsidy to farmers at the rate of Rs 4,500 per hectare for rainfed areas, Rs 9,000 per hectare for irrigated areas and Rs 12,000 per hectare for perennial crops.
The total cultivable area in rabi season is 600 lakh hectares.