Mumbai, Mar 8: The Budget session of Maharashtra Legislature got underway here today, with Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao announcing that the BJP-led government in the state has disbursed Rs 2536 crore to the drought-affected farmers.
"The state is facing drought for the fourth successive year and nearly 15750 villages are adversely affected in the current Kharif season," Rao said addressing a joint sitting of the Houses.
"The Central Government has approved relief assistance of Rs 3049-crore, which is the highest-ever central assistance given to Maharashtra. My government till date has disbursed an amount of Rs 2536-crore to the drought affected farmers," he said.
"My government has decided to extend relief assistance to the people who suffered crop loss, house damage due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm during the year 2015. The Central Government has revised the Norms of relief Assistance under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF)," he said.
Accordingly, the state government has adopted the enhanced financial assistance norms with effect from 1st April, 2015, he said.
"My government has taken a decision to waive three months' interest on the crop loans availed by the farmers who lost their crop due to natural calamities during November-December 2014 and February-March 2015.
"Considering the recurrent crop failures due to natural calamities, my government took a decision to restructure crop loans, waived the interest on loans and stayed the recovery of loans. As a result of these decisions, Banks restructured about Rs 3,500 crore of crop loan into medium term loans, which have benefited nearly 5.5 lakh farmers. "Due to restructuring of outstanding crop loans, the District Central Cooperative Banks of Akola, Washim, Amravati, Yavatmal, Chandrapur and Nasik were able to extend fresh crop loans of Rs. 405 crore to nearly 1,16,000 farmers whose loans were so restructured," he said.