Govt to give farmers power, seeds subsidy in case rains fail

Govt to give farmers power, seeds subsidy in case rains fail

Setting in motion a contingency plan to tackle possible monsoon deficiency, government today announced it will supply subsidised diesel, power and seeds to farmers in regions that may get affected.

The Centre also asked states to keep aside up to 10 per cent of the funds they get under the flagship Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana to make emergent interventions. States have also been given flexibility to use 10 per cent of the allocation they get under Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

The decisions follow Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh's meeting with senior officials of Indian Metrological Department, National Disaster Management Authority as well as the ministries of power, water resource, rural development and fertiliser, to assess the situation.
"We will offer subsidy on diesel, power and seeds to farmers like last year to deal with drought-like-situation," Singh said after the meeting.

Around the first week of July, based on review of actual rainfall status and if situation warrants, the ministry would approach the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for approval of special measures including diesel subsidy scheme, and enhancing ceiling on seed subsidy under various schemes.

The proposals would also include additional fodder production programme and special interventions for saving horticulture crops.

About Rs 10,000 crore was allocated to Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana in last fiscal.

According to sources, the Centre may continue Rs 10 per litre diesel subsidy this year as well. The subsidy on seeds could be up to 50 per cent under different schemes, they added. Similarly, free power could be given to farmers for irrigation.

The minister said the north-west region, which is forecast to be hit most, is largely irrigated having least impact of rainfall deficiency.

"I would like to assure you, that this ministry is completely geared up to meet any likelihood of drought, in case of a deficit rainfall, as forecast by the IMD," he said, adding that the 'crisis management plan' for drought 2015 has already been in place.

All the ministries are well prepared to handle drought and a nodal officer has been appointed in every departments to deal with deficient monsoon, an official statement said

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