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Government announces special assistance package for 'parched' states

Listing out measures to deal with a possible drought, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said subsidies would be increased on seeds apart from extending assistance for horticulture and fodder production.

Mail Today Bureau | August 6, 2014 | Updated 11:17 IST
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh

The government plans to provide subsidised diesel and seeds to regions impacted by the weak monsoon and a special assistance package would be given in case of areas that may be affected by drought.

Listing out measures to deal with a possible drought, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that no state had announced drought conditions so far. Subsidies would be increased on seeds apart from extending assistance for horticulture and fodder production, he said.

DIESEL SUBSIDY

The government proposes to have a special assistance package to areas affected by drought. The proposal will be placed before the Cabinet, Singh said replying to a discussion on the flood and drought situation.

According to Singh, subsidy on diesel would be extended in areas where the rainfall has been less than 50 per cent and this would be in place from July 15-September 30. Besides, the subsidy on seeds would be increased by 50 per cent in areas where sowing has started but has been affected by shortfall in rain.

Rs 700-CRORE PLAN

In case drought is announced in any state, Singh said that the government has proposed a Rs 700-crore scheme to rejuvenate horticulture crops and another Rs 100 crore programme for increasing fodder production. Singh also said that the government was taking swift action to address shortage of storage facilities for food grains.

Citing initiatives to set up agricultural as well as horticulture universities in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Singh asserted that there is no politics involved in addressing issues of the agriculture sector. He also assured that issues related to agricultural crop insurance scheme would be discussed with states. A meeting of state agriculture secretaries has been convened next week to discuss crop insurance.

On members' suggestions to deal with floods and drought, Singh said that he would take them into account in future planning. Earlier, RJD member Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav demanded that the government should provide Rs 10,000-crore relief package to people affected by Kosi floods.

SPECIAL ASSISTANCE

>> The government plans to provide a special assistance package, including higher subsidy on seeds, to states in case of a drought.

>> The Centre informed the Lok Sabha that subsidies would be increased on seeds apart from extending assistance for horticulture and fodder production.

>> Subsidy on diesel would be extended in areas where the rainfall has been less than 50% and the same would be in place for the period from July 15 to September 30.

>> Besides, the subsidy on seeds would be increased by 50 per cent in areas where sowing has started but has been affected by shortfall in rain.

>> In case drought is announced in any state, the government has proposed a Rs 700-crore scheme to rejuvenate horticulture crops and another Rs 100-crore programme for increasing fodder production.

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