Under the second initiative, farmers would get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop on one acre of land, she said.
The West Bengal government announced two welfare initiatives for farmers on Monday. Both initiatives, which are part of the ‘Krishi Krishak Bondhu’ scheme, will come into effect from New Year’s Day. The first of the two initiatives will provide Rs 2 lakh to the family of a deceased farmer, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the secretariat. Under the second initiative, farmers would get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop on one acre of land, she said.
The Mamata Banerjee government has already waived tax and cess on agricultural land “to help farmers in distress”. If a farmer aged between 18 to 60 years dies a natural or unnatural death, the state government will pay his family Rs 2 lakh,” the chief minister said. “We have a total of 72 lakh farmer families in the state. We do not want them to suffer. We will start the scheme from tomorrow and the farmers will be able to start applying for the same from February 1,” she said.
“The step is to ensure that a farmer’s family has a good future even if a tragedy occurs,” she explained. Elaborating on the other initiative, Banerjee said the government will provide each farmer Rs 5,000 in two installments for growing any particular crop on one acre. They will be able to apply for this scheme from February 1, the amount will be calculated from January 1, 2019,” she said.
The agricultural department will spend over “hundreds of crores of rupees” for this scheme, she added. Banerjee accused the BJP-led central government for making false claims of providing crop insurance to farmers in West Bengal and said the state has paid 80 per cent of the insurance payout. She said her Trinamool Congress government has undertaken a slew of measures for farmers, including raising the minimum support price for paddy and steps to ensure direct cheque payment to farmers at paddy procurement centres by removing middlemen. The chief minister also warned middlemen against exploiting farmers by paying them less for their produce.