Govt sanctioned Rs 647 lakh for farmers’ welfare scheme, HC told

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court that it has sanctioned around Rs 647 lakh for a welfare scheme of farmers, which provided compensation to those involved in fruit and perishable crops.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Gangapurwalla and RG Avachat, meanwhile, refused to direct the government to constitute a committee to prepare a scheme and decide the market value or assured price or compensation required to be given to such farmers.

The bench was seized with a PIL seeking constitution of a committee to oversee the process of distributing the compensation money to the farmers.

Responding to the PIL, the state in a reply said that the government has issued a GR this month by which it has sanctioned Rs 647 lakh for Aurangabad division as per the demand made by the divisional authorities. The state said it would distribute this amount in two equal installments.

Having heard the state and the petitioners, the bench said, 'We hope and trust that the state would accord the benefit to the eligible farmers expeditiously. The timely payment of the amount is of utmost importance. It shall endeavour to disburse the amount as expeditously as possible."

As far as the prayers regarding directing state to prepare a scheme and constitute a committee to oversee compensation payment etc, the judges said that it would be within the ambit and purview of the state.

"It would be the state's policy decision as it is for the government to consider and adopt a policy as per the wisdom of the experts and consider all aspects of the matter," the judges said.

"We cannot pass orders in that regard and we would refrain from passing any orders even because the state in its affidavit has clearly said it wohld be implementing the 2019 GR in letter and spirit," the bench added.

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