Ahead of the Central team's visit to cyclone Titli and subsequent floods hit the area in the state, Odisha government Wednesday announced a special package for the affected people. The package was decided at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The package has been given to different sectors as the twin calamities have caused extensive damage to the standing crops and plantations and affected the farmers, officials said. The animal husbandry, fisheries, handloom and sericulture sectors have also been severely affected, chief secretary A P Padhi said adding that the special package aims to ameliorate the suffering of the affected people. To give relief to the farmers who have taken credit from different banks, the state government decided to convert short-term kharif loans in the affected areas during kharif 2018 having crop loss of 33 per cent into the medium-term loan, he said. The government has also decided that 100 per cent remission in respect of cess on land revenue and compulsory basic water rate will be given to farmers where the crop loss is 33 per cent or more. Similarly, it has been decided that school fees and school examination fees up to high school level in government schools shall be waived in the affected areas, Padhi said.
Two pairs of school uniforms and textbooks will be provided to the children up to elementary school level in the affected areas, the chief secretary informed. In the agriculture sector, agriculture input subsidy will be provided to small and marginal farmers who have suffered crop loss of 33 per cent and above Rs 6,800 per hectare of land in rainfed/non irrigated areas, Rs 13,500 per hectare of land in areas under assured irrigation and Rs 18,000 per hectare for all types of perennial crops. Perennial crops will include mango, cashew, coconut, kewra, betel vine and others, Padhi said adding that the assistance will be provided to the actual cultivators.
He made it clear that the agricultural input subsidy to any affected farmer will not be less than Rs 2000 for perennial crops and Rs 1000 for other crops. This apart, it has been decided to distribute 1,20,000 of pulses, 30,000 oilseed minikits, and 50,000 vegetable seed kits totalling to 2,00,000 of special mini kits to the Titili affected farmers during Rabi 2018-19. It was also decided that 20,000 hectares of demonstration programmes of different crops will be taken up in Titili affected districts in the ensuing Rabi season. Padhi said incentive will be provided to 2,000 farmers at Rs 7,000 per unit for cultivating root and tuber crops. Similarly, the incentive of Rs 10,000 per unit will also be provided for repair and renovation of shednet and thatched structure for the restoration of mushroom units to 500 farmers. One thousand pump sets shall be provided with 50 per cent subsidy limited to a maximum of Rs 15,000, Padhi said adding that 1000 solar pump sets (0.5 HP) will be made available to affected farmers at 90 per cent subsidy limited to Rs 54000 per pump set under "Saura Jalanidhi".
(With inputs from agencies.)