In the last three months, over Rs 1,800 crore has been distributed by the BJP government in Gujarat as “drought” relief to over 10 lakh farmers in 96 talukas, according to senior state government officials.
In 51 talukas that received less than 250 mm rainfall during last year’s monsoon, the state government had promised to give a relief of Rs 6,800 per hectare. This one-time relief is being given to all farmers irrespective of whether they suffered crop loss. The relief amount is applicable to a maximum of two hectares.
“Till March 12, we had given over Rs 941 crore to 9.41 lakh farmers in these 51 talukas,” said a senior state government official.
The Indian Express has already reported that in these 51 talukas spread across 11 districts, farmers in 401 villages have suffered crop loss of 33 per cent or more during Kharif season last year.
In the remaining 45 talukas that received 250-400 mm rainfall, the government has given an additional Rs 800 crore to the farmers. Relief per hectare ranges between Rs 5,300 and Rs 6,300.
The money is in addition to the relief for cattle camps that have opened specially in Kutch where all the 10 talukas have been declared severely drought-hit. The government has also given assistance to gaushalas and panjrapoles in these talukas.
According to the officials, the government has spent close to Rs 4.5 crore in distributing grass for fodder in these talukas. So far the government has given 7.92 crore kg grass in the 51 talukas. The grass that costs over Rs 10 per kilogram is being given since October 2018 for Rs 2 per kilogram to over 3.25 lakh “grass-card” holders.
“As of now there are 373 cattle camps, being run by Non-government Organisations (NGOs), which house 2.2 lakh cattle in Kutch district only. The government is giving them a subsidy of Rs 35 per cattle per day. So far about Rs 5.16 lakh have been given to these NGOs as cattle subsidy,” the official said. Till a month ago, the subsidy for cattle camps, which started after December 15, 2018, was Rs 25.
The government has also given Rs 57.24 crore as cattle subsidy to various gaushalas and panjrapoles that take care of 2.61 lakh cattle in the drought affected 51 talukas.