Gujarat seeks Central aid for farmers hit by untimely rains

Vadodara, Feb 1 (PTI) The Gujarat Government is goingto seek over Rs 4,000-crore package for farmers who havesuffered crop losses on account of unseasonal rains in thestate late last year.

"I will meet Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawarin Delhi on Wednesday and demand a special package of Rs 4,375crore for damaged crops in Gujarat," Minister for Agriculture,Cooperation, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Dileep Sanghanitold PTI today.

"Gujarat wants this special package on the lines ofthose announced for the farmers of the two Congress-ruledstates Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra," he said.

"There should be no discrimination in declaring thepackage for the farmers in BJP-ruled Gujarat. We should becompensated fully for suffering the losses."

A team headed by Anindo Majmumdar, Joint Secretary inUnion Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry, had visitedseveral regions of the state about a month ago for assessingthe damage caused to the crops.

The Minister said the team visited various parts ofSaurashtra, North Gujarat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Rajula,Surendranagar and Mahua.

The farmers in these areas have suffered an estimatedloss of about Rs 4,375 crore, Sanghani said. Chief MinisterNarendra Modi had earlier written a letter to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh seeking a special package, he added.

"Why is the Centre taking so long to declare thepackage for farmers hit by unseasonal rains?" Sanghaniasked.

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