Gujarat govt announces Rs 546 cr package for rain-hit farmers

The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced an over Rs 500 crore relief package for the farmers affected by heavy rain in the four districts of Saurashtra, who suffered crop loss. Compensation of Rs 13,000 per hectare would be paid to each of them for a maximum of two hectares. The government is also in the process of surveying other crop loss- affected areas of the state.

Addressing the media, Education Minister Jitu Vaghani said, “The Gujarat government has come up with a zero percent interest loan from the revolving fund for the farmers who have been affected by crop loss in the heavy rains during the recent monsoon. The government has announced a Rs 546 crore package for them. This package will benefit around 2.82 lakh farmers of 662 villages in 22 tehsils of Jamnagar, Rajkot, Porbandar and Junagadh districts in Gujarat.”

The minister said that a survey will also be carried out in other areas of the state to assess crop loss due to the heavy rain. “Right now the survey is in progress in Ahmedabad, Botad, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Surendranagar and Chotta Udepur districts for the crop loss. Besides these, there are also reports of crop damage in the Panchmahals and Bharuch districts. We will be conducting a survey there also. After all these surveys, the affected farmers will benefit from the relief package,” added Vaghani.

“The farmers will have to apply online to avail the benefits of this package. The Rs 15 application fee for this scheme will also be borne by the government, so that the farmers won’t have to pay anything while applying,” said Vaghani.

The state government had ordered a survey to assess the damage following reports of crop loss due to heavy showers in Saurashtra in September.

Each eligible farmer would get a compensation of Rs 13,000 per hectare with a limit of two hectares if the crop loss was equal or above 33 per cent as per the Government Resolution (GR) that was issued on Tuesday.

The compensation under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) is limited to only Rs 6,800 per hectare, so the difference of Rs 6,200 per hectare would be paid from the state budget, said the GR.

The resolution also says that if the landholding is less than one hectare, the minimum compensation will be Rs 5,000.

Eligible farmers will have to submit an online application with all required details and scanned documents such as Aadhaar and bank account number before October 25 to get the compensation.