In a major relief to the farmers hit by untimely rains and floods, the Maharashtra government from Monday will start depositing the assured aid in their bank accounts. This is as per the Rs 10,000 crore relief package announced a fortnight ago by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The government will deposit Rs 4,700 crore of the Rs 10,000 crore in the first phase.
Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that the government has handed over a letter to the state Election Commission. The farmers can now expect money ahead of Diwali. His statement is crucial as the fate of the implementation of the relief package was uncertain due to code of conduct in place owing to the local body elections scheduled in the flood hit areas.
The government will provide Rs 10,000 per hectare for agriculture and horticulture and Rs 25,000 per hectare would be given to the heirs of the deceased.
Congress demands enactment of agriculture law
Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan, in a representation to CM Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday, demanded that the state government should enact a separate law to prevent possible losses farmers would incur due to the new agriculture laws passed by the central government. He said that the law should include various provisions in the interest of farmers, including making the minimum base price mandatory for agricultural procurement transactions.
Chavan, who was accompanied by state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, brought to the CM’s notice that several states in the country have enacted laws to prevent the losses incurred due to the central government’s agricultural laws. These laws will bring relief to the farmers and consumers there. “In the same vein, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra should also play a role in protecting farmers by enacting new laws,” said Chavan.
The new law should have a provision related to restricting private buyers to purchase and transact agricultural commodities below the minimum base price, requiring farmers' consent for the sale and purchase of agricultural commodities, granting farmers the right to seek redressal in the civil court in case of fraud and long term imprisonment in case of fraud or harassment and large fines.
Chavan further demanded that the provision of financial penalty, limitation of storage capacity to prevent traders from stockpiling agricultural commodities, transparent auction and online payment facility through an electronic trading platform for agricultural transactions should also be included in the proposed law.
Meanwhile, Congress today at Kolhapur held a tractor rally to protest against the three agriculture laws enacted by the Narendra Modi government and express solidarity with the farmers across the country.