The Telangana government will not send any report to the Centre on crop damage caused by recent unseasonal rains, in protest against the Central government's unhelpful attitude towards reports sent earlier, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said on Thursday, even as he announced financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per acre for farmers.
Rao inspected the crops damaged due to recent unseasonal showers and hailstorms in Khammam, Mahabubabad and other districts. Speaking to reporters in Khammam district, the CM alleged that the present policies of the Centre were not helpful to farmers in times of crop losses and that they benefited insurance companies instead.
"The previous Central governments were like that, and (with) the present Central government, it is like (the message is) falling on deaf ears. Not much use telling them (about losses to farmers)," he said. Rao said the country requires a 'new integrated agriculture policy'.
He disapproved of the present system whereby the state government had to report to the Centre about crop losses and a Central team would then visit and assess the damage, following which financial assistance is announced after six months. The incumbent NDA government's attitude is such that they are only interested in politics and not bothered about farmers, he alleged.
"So, we don't intend to send a report to the Centre, as a protest. Because nothing was given on the basis (of reports) sent earlier," he said. As per the Centre's present rules, the compensation given to farmers is inadequate, he said. The amount is just over Rs 3,000 per acre for maize and Rs 5,400 for paddy.
The Chief Minister announced financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per acre to farmers to enable them to recover their losses and resume farming. Rao said the government would also provide relief to tenant farmers who suffered crop loss.
According to him, this decision was made based on the representation of the state minister and other public representatives in Khammam district and also the leaders of the CPI and CPI(M) who were present during the CM's inspection of damaged crops.
According to Rao, crops in over two lakh acres were damaged and the state government would sanction Rs 228 crore immediately to provide financial assistance to farmers.