Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the Centre of making false claims of providing crop insurance to farmers in West Bengal and said that the state government bore 80 per cent of the insurance payout. The TMC chief said from now on the state government would pay the entire amount and won’t allow the Centre to take credit for the state’s crop insurance scheme by just bearing a minuscule 20 per cent of the cost.
“We won’t allow the Centre to do politics with an emotive issue like crop insurance by tagging their name with the project when it is sharing only 20 per cent of the premium amount. The state presently foots 80 per cent of the crop insurance amount and we will pay the entire amount in future,” PTI quoted Banerjee as saying at an administrative meeting in Birbhum district.
Attempting to portray a farmer-friendly image ahead of the election season, Banerjee had last week announced a string of schemes for the state’s 71.23 lakh farmers. Under the ‘Krishi Krishak Bandhu’ scheme, Rs 2 lakh will be paid to the next of kin of a farmer, aged between 18-60 years, in case of his death.
The CM had also announced that a farmer would get Rs 5,000 as financial assistance for each acre of his land in a year for growing a single crop. Under the scheme, farmers will get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop per acre.
Banerjee, who has been at the forefront in attacking the Modi-led government over agrarian distress, said, “West Bengal pays the major portion of the premium and the Centre uses its name. This cannot go on, we will pay the entire amount henceforth,” the TMC chief said.
She also stressed upon ‘Jal Dharo Jal Bharo’ scheme, a rainwater harvesting scheme of the state government, in drought-prone areas. “Please give special thrust to this scheme, especially in drought-prone areas. I also suggest sinking of deep tube wells in certain pockets which should be implemented by February,” she told senior district officials.