Bengal Govt Will Pay Rs 2 Lakh, If A Farmer Dies: Mamata Banerjee

WEST BENGAL

As agrarian distress is seen as a crucial issue for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government on Monday announced a cash assistance of Rs 5,000 per acre to farmers across the state. Besides, the state government will also pay the premium for farmers adopting the crop insurance scheme.

Additionally, Banerjee also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh in case of death of a farmer between the 18-60 age group. With farmers and rural India likely to be the key campaign theme in 2019, TMC would hope that the string of sops appeals to the 71.23 lakh farmers in the mostly agrarian state.

Bengal’s cash assistance scheme echoes the Rythu Bandhu policy made famous by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. Rythu Bandhu is a support scheme for farmers that takes care of initial investment needs that ease the farmers’ debt burden. It provides a grant of Rs 4,000 per acre per farmer each season for the purchase of inputs like seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, labour and other investments in field operations.

Stressing the importance of the farming community, Banerjee had last week said the income of farmers in Bengal had tripled during the past seven years of TMC rule. “In Bangla, the average annual income of farmers has tripled from Rs 91,000 (in 2010-11) to Rs 2.91 lakh (in 2017-18). We have also waived the tax and mutation fee on agricultural land,” she had tweeted.