Odisha seeks hike in input subsidy for farmers

Bhubaneswar: Chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi has urged the Central government to enhance the rate of agriculture input subsidy to farmers affected by disasters especially for rainfed area, by at least fifty percent.
He has also sought an amendment of the existing norms of assistance from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as damaged infrastructure needs to be fully restored in case of any major disaster.
While some districts of Odisha are facing drought situation due to deficient and uneven rainfall during Kharif 2017, in certain districts pest attack has also caused serious problems.
The State Government has initiated various measures to deal with the problem and is implementing a package of assistance for the affected farmers.
As per the existing Norms of Assistance from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), farmers are eligible to get agriculture input subsidy of Rs.6800/ per hectare for rainfed areas and Rs.13,500/ per hectare for areas under assured irrigation.
Stating that the rate of agriculture input subsidy is quite low compared to the loss incurred by them, he has also urged the centre to fix the minimum assistance to farmers at Rs.2000/ for rainfed areas and Rs.3000/ for irrigated areas.
The existing Norms do not provide for expenditure on revival of defunct Lift Irrigation Points which is crucial in a drought situation both to save the standing crops and for taking up the next crops.
The state government has urged the central government to permit such expenditure from SDRF by making necessary amendment to the existing SDRF/ NDRF Norms.

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