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Govt announces package for farmers, fishermen hit by cyclone, flood

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Oct 21:

With Phailin and the subsequent flood wreaking havoc to the agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery sectors, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced special financial packages to ameliorate the sufferings of the affected farmers and others.
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To cut the losses in the agriculture sector, the government has decided to provide subsidy of Rs 4500 per hectare for rain-fed areas, Rs 9,000 in assured irrigated areas and Rs 12,000 for all types of perennial crops restricted to sown areas to the affected farmers, said a release from the Chief Minister’s office (CMO).

Perennial crops will include mango, cashew, coconut, kewra, betel vine etc. The minimum assistance to any affected farmer shall not be less than Rs 2,000 by administering both ex-gratia assistance and agricultural input subsidy.

The government has decided to provide the subsidy to the cultivators who have suffered crop loss to the extent of 50% or more.

Besides, crop loans during the current Rabi season shall be made available to the affected farmers at 5% interest which will be reduced to 2% in case of timely repayment. They shall not be treated as defaulters for non-repayment of the existing loan.

Short term crop loans advanced during Kharif 2013 will be converted to medium term conversion loans repayable over a period of three years in the affected areas.

The release also said that four lakh pulses kits and high quality vegetable seeds will be distributed to five lakh farmers at 90 percent subsidy in the affected areas.

Besides, 100 percent remission in respect of cess on land revenue and compulsory basic water rate will be given to farmers in areas where the crop loss is 50% or more.

In the Animal Husbandry sector, the government will provide assistance to small and marginal farmers with replacement of milch animals, draught animals or animals used for haulage at the rate of Rs 16, 400 for Buffallo/Cow and Rs 1650 for sheep/goat. For full grown draught animals, it will be Rs 15, 000 and Rs 10, 000 for calf.

In the fisheries sector, assistance to fishermen for repair and replacement of boats, nets, dugout- canoe and catamaran damaged or lost will be provided as per CRF/SDRF norms.

In the handicrafts and handloom sector, the government will provide assistance of Rs 3000 per artisan for replacement of tools/equipment and Rs 3000 for loss of raw material/goods in process/finished goods.

Sericulture farmers shall be given agriculture input subsidy of Rs 3200 per hectare for Eri, Mulberry and Tussar and while those cultivating Muga will get Rs 4,000 per hectare.

The government has also decided to exempt school examination fees up to High School level in government schools in the affected areas. Besides, two pairs of school uniforms and text books shall be provided to children up to High School level while funds will be provided for repair and restoration of school and college buildings on priority.