Kerala all-party delegation to meet PM on crop loss

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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 9 (UNI) An all-party delegation from Kerala will visit Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apprise him about the crop loss in the recent summer rains, Chief Minister V S chuthanandan informed today.

In a post-Cabinet Press briefing here, he said it was decided to send an all-party delegation to the Prime Minister and submit a memorandum, urging him to take immediate steps to release the compensation at the earliest. However, the date would be decided later as per the convenience of the Prime Minister.

Mr Achuthanandan said the Cabinet also decided to provide Rs 50,000 to the farmers, who had either committed suicide or died in rain-related incidents, and to waive their agricultural loans.

As per a preliminary report, 30,000 hectares of paddy were damaged in the rains. Of this, paddy in 20,000 hectares were completely lost, he said.

The payment of Rs 10,000 per hectare as an aid to farmers who suffered crop loss in the unseasonal rains, as declared by the Government, would be distributed in two days.

The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had also decided to urge the Centre to give administrative sanction to the Rs 1,840-crore project prepared by the Swaminathan Commission for protecting the bunds and to make the functioning of Thanneermukkam bund effective for the comprehensive development of Kuttanad.

It had also decided to extend the free travel concession provided to the deaf and dumb and mentally disabled in the Karnataka State R oad Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus, Mr. Achuthanandan added.

Alleging that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government's ''wrong'' economic policies were the main reasons for the price hike of essential commodities, he said it should correct ''the mistakes''.

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