Cabinet modifies package for farmers in suicide-prone dist

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) The Union Cabinet today affected some mid term modifications in its September 29, 2006 rehabilitation package for farmers in suicide prone districts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Briefing mediapersons after a meeting of the Cabinet, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the improvements in the package would give it a sharper edge and fufther improve its effectiveness.

The modifications in the rahabilitation package, approved by the Cabinet after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to some parts of Vidarbha district on July 1, 2006, include extension of period for implementation of the non credit component of the package by two years upto September 30, 2011; in principle approval for provision of need based additional financial support to the concerned ministries and the departments of the Government for implementation of the programmes in the package; increase in per farmer area limit under the seed replacement programme, from one ha to two ha.

The modifications also include adoption of 'Cafeteria approach' for participatory watershed development programmes where the state government, with permission from the Agricultural ministry have the flexibility to adopt either models circulated by the NABARD or Sujatra model of the programme; inclusion of 'Women Farmers' empowerment programme under extension services and constitution of an Empowered committee headed by Secretary of the Department of Animal husbandry, Dairying and fisheries and consisting of representatives from the department of agriculture and cooperation, planning commission and finance ministry as members for taking decisions regarding medications or inclusion of new components under subsidiary income activities subject to total financial implication remaining within the existing approved outlay for the concerned sate.

Mr Chidambaram said the feedback received from state governments and other implementing agencies indicated that implemenation of the rahabilitation package has resulted in substantial improvement in the ground level conditions and mitigation of farmers' distress.

''At the same time, they have suggested some amendments to the existing interventions for giving a sharper edge and increase the pace of implementation of the interventions brought about through the rahabilitation package,''Mr Chidambaram said.

The rehabilitation package for 31 identified districts involves a total amount of Rs 16978.69 crore consisting of Rs 10579.43 crore as subsidy and Rs 6399.26 crore as loan.


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