Government to provide additional assistance to affected farmers: Virbhader Singh

Apr 02, 2015 17:31 | Poltics

Government has taken a major decision to provide relief to those farmers and horticulturalists who had raised huge loans under the Horticulture Mission in its initial phases. The Government has come to rescue of the farmers in their best interest and has taken a decision to provide additional assistance to those affected, who are interested to construct polyhouses again despite the fact that they have already availed this assistance earlier.  Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh today said that all those who want to construct Polyhouses  upto 4000 square meters, the Government will provide them  thorough training besides providing them 85 per cent subsidy under the Mission for Integrated development of Horticulture (MIDH), which was 50 percent earlier. This is another opportunity to those farmers and horticulturalists who earlier had taken the benefits of the loan, said Chief Minister.

After detailed deliberations, the Government has taken a decision that it would give 50 percent subsidy on Planting material too to all such farmers on demand, who were affected under the scheme, said he. In addition to this, priority will be given to those affected farmers in all such schemes and activities of the horticulture department including MIDH, he added.

The detailed guidelines were being framed for verification of the affected farmers and modalities for disbursement of the benefits to be given to them and save them from insolvency. It was also decided that the department of horticulture would frame detailed guidelines within fifteen days for verification of the affected farmers and chalk out the modalities for disbursement of benefits.

It is pertinent to mention here that under the Horticulture Mission 2003-04, there was a provision for providing 50 percent assistance for construction of polyhouses and despite training to few farmers and horticulturalists many other farmers who got motivated by the fellow counterparts adopted the technique and constructed polyhouses and started production of high value crops, adopted floriculture on large scale and started growing vegetables. Though under the scheme they were getting only 50 percent subsidy for constructing polyhouses only, they arranged huge loans from the banks for procuring the planting material which nearly cost them around from Rs.800 to Rs. 1000 per square meter.

Horticulture Minister, Smt. Vidya Stokes in her chamber, detailed that since the technique was new to many of farmers and horticulturalists, they raised huge loans from the banks and realising that it did not fetch them the desired results they suffered huge financial losses and were not in a position to repay the loans. The Minister said that directions had been issued to the Horticultural  department to speed up the matter and take up the necessary meetings. She also directed to review the steps taken in the direction and report to the Government the action taken report.

To help the farmers the Government was also exploring the possibilities of holding meetings with the Bankers for one time settlement of their loans by getting waived of their interest or penal interest accrued on principal amount. The detailed guidelines were being prepared after examining the representations received from various farmers associations for providing relief to them or compensate the losses suffered.