Karnataka's Rs 105 crore drought relief sparks farmer discontent: Labeled insufficient aid
In response to the challenges posed by a deficient monsoon season during 2023–24, the Karnataka state government has taken a significant step by allocating ₹105 crore for temporary crop compensation. This relief fund aims to provide financial assistance to eligible farmers who have suffered losses due to drought conditions. However, the relief comes with specific conditions and guidelines to ensure fair distribution and effective utilisation.
The government has disbursed ₹105 crore as the first installment of drought relief to address the immediate needs of farmers grappling with crop damage resulting from the lack of rain. Each eligible farmer can receive compensation up to a maximum of ₹2000, providing a temporary respite amid the challenges faced during the monsoon season.
While the central government has yet to release the crop damage compensation grant to the state, Karnataka has taken proactive measures by allocating funds under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). To ensure a transparent and efficient distribution process, the state government has outlined specific guidelines.
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The e-governance department's Farmer Registration and a Uniﬁed beneﬁciary Information System (FRUITS) data and the 2023 monsoon season crop survey data from the revenue department will determine the distribution of compensation. The eligibility criteria include having the Aadhaar number linked to the farmer ID registered in Fruits software.
In accordance with the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) guidelines of the central government, the government has scheduled compensation rates at Rs 8,500 per hectare for rain-fed crop, Rs 17,000 for irrigated crop, and Rs 22,500 for perennial crop. The government has also assured that eligible farmers will receive additional crop damage compensation once the grant from the Centre is received.
The Bhumi Cell prohibits the consideration of agricultural land converted for non-agricultural purposes in the assessment of crop damage compensation, thus focusing resources on genuine agricultural losses. This strategic decision aims to focus resources on genuine agricultural losses. The state government will release additional crop damage compensation once it receives the grant from the central government, in adherence to the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) guidelines.