In order to alleviate the distress of the farmers following the vagaries of nature, increased financial assistance has been provided to the small and marginal farmers engaged in animal husbandry and for desilting of agricultural land under the initiatives announced by the the Prime Minister to provide relief to farmers .
Now for the replacement of milch animals, the assistance has been increased from Rs 16400 to Rs 30000 for buffalo/cow/camel/yak etc.In case of replacement of sheep/goat, the financial assistance has been raised from Rs 1650 to Rs 3000. Similarly in case of replacement of draught animals,for camel/horse/bullock etc ,the quantum of financial assistance will be now Rs 25000 instead of Rs 15000 to.For the replacement of calf/donkey/pony/mule, the financial assistance has been raised from Rs 10000 to Rs 16000.
The assistance for land and other losses due to silting of agricultural land has been increased from Rs 8100 per hectare to Rs 12200 per hectare. It will also be applicable to removal of debris of agricultural land in hilly areas and restoration or repair of fish farms. In case of loss of substantial portion of land due to land slide, avalanche, change of course of rivers, the existing level of financial assistance has been hiked from Rs 25000 per hectare to Rs 37500 per hectare for small and marginal farmers.
The Prime Minister has already announced that the farmers will now be eligible for input subsidy if 33 percent or more of their crop is damaged. Earlier, they used to get input subsidy only when the crop damage was 50 percent or more. The Prime Minister has also announced enhancement of the existing quantum of financial assistance by 50% in case of crop losses. These compensatory measures have been carried out after revising the norms under National Disaster Response Fund/ State Disaster Response Fund which will be effective from 1st April 2015. However, a special dispensation has been made for the farmers affected by hailstorms in different parts of the country during February/March 2015 and they will be given assistance under the new norms.
The enhanced input subsidy norms have been announced for various other categories also.In case of agriculture crops, horticulture crops and annual plantation crops, the input subsidy has been hiked from Rs 4500 per hectare to Rs 6800 per hectare in rainfed areas and restricted to sown areas. In the assured irrigated areas, it has been hiked from Rs 9000 per hectare to Rs 13500 per hectare.
In case of perennial crops, the quantum of input subsidy has been hiked from Rs 12000 to Rs 18000 per hectare. For those, engaged in sericulture, the input subsidy has been hiked from Rs 3200 – Rs 4000 per hectare to Rs 4800 – Rs 6000 per hectare.
Now the norms of NDRF/SDRF will automatically be reviewed during April each year based on annual inflation derived from Wholesale Price Index and would be rounded off to next multiple of 100.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry has directed states to disburse relief from State Disaster Response Fund without any delay and in case of shortfall, they should use their State Contingency Funds as well as submit their memoranda to avail assistance from National Disaster Response Fund. Agriculture Ministry has also directed the State Governments to ensure faster processing of claims under the agriculture insurance schemes.
In view of damage to onion and potato crops, the Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has written to all states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal where there is likelihood of increase in their prices, to purchase and maintain stocks of the same under Market Intervention Scheme.