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Maha govt contemplating long-term policy to bail out farmers

Maharashtra government

Mumbai: Maharashtra government is mulling to bring in a long-term policy for drought-hit farmers which will ensure they get compensation amount commensurate to their crop losses.

The policy, that will be termed as Integrated Risk Management in Agriculture (IRMA), is the brainchild of Sena leader and State Industries Minister Subhash Desai.

Sena legislators are unhappy with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s stand of not giving a complete loan waiver to debt-ridden farmers.

“We do not want to be seen as a partner in the BJP government’s decision of not giving a loan waiver. How will we face voters if there is no debt waiver for them ?” Gulabrao Patil, Sena MLA from Jalgaon (rural) constituency said.

“It is not only me but other Sena legislators and even some BJP MLAs are unhappy with CM’s decision,” he said.

Desai, a cabinet member in the state government disagreed with his party legislator and said that the CM is correct in his decision and the state government will soon arrive at solution for the current situation.

“After the CM announced his decision on loan waiver in the House, a meeting was held between him and agriculture expert Budhajirao Mulik in Vidhan Bhavan just two days back. It was my initiative,” he said.

“While in Opposition, I had proposed a non-government Bill called Integrated Risk Management in Agriculture (IRMA), in which I had proposed that state will decide the amount of income of various crops in a certain area of land. If a farmer suffers a loss due to natural calamities, the state will compensate the money based on the formula of income from the crop minus the loss in amount,” he said.

Desai further said that Mulik has explained the scheme to Fadnavis and that the government may soon accept it.

“Japan, America and other few countries have already adopted the scheme. It is just like an insurance scheme where the government will pay premium amount as farmers are already distressed,” Desai said.

He said only long-term policies can help overcome the issue of drought and farmer suicides.

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