The Punjab government on Saturday announced releasing a sum of over Rs 416 crore to compensate cotton growers for their crop loss due to pink bollworm pest attack. Pink bollworm attack had caused extensive damage to cotton crop in Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Barnala districts.
Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Aruna Chaudhary said to compensate affected farmers, the government is releasing an amount of Rs 416 crore.
Of this amount, 10 percent would be given to the cotton picking workers as relief. The compensation amount will be transferred to the accounts of Deputy Commissioners before Diwali and the respective district administrations will then directly transfer the amount to the bank accounts of farmers.
Chaudhary, accompanied by Agriculture Minister Randeep Singh Nabha, while addressing the media here said the state government stands firmly with the farmers and every step will be taken for their welfare.
Giving details of the distribution of compensation, the cabinet ministers said 4 lakh acres out of the total area of 7.51 lakh acres of cotton crop have been damaged by pink bollworm.
They said the compensation was being paid at the rate of Rs 2,000 per acre for the loss to the extent of 26 to 32 percent; Rs 5,400 per acre for 33 to 75 percent loss; and Rs 12,000 per acre for 76 to 100 percent loss, which is the highest-ever amount.
Earlier, farmers were being paid Rs 8,000 per acre and pickers 5 per cent of the amount for crop failure. To a query regarding damage caused to crops by recent rains and hailstorms, Chaudhary said the 'girdawari' orders have been issued for the assessment of crop loss.
As soon as the reports are received from the Deputy Commissioners, steps will be taken for giving compensation to the affected growers. The Deputy Commissioners had been directed to send crop damage reports within a week.
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