Kisan Sabha demands compensation for damage to crops due to unseasonal rains in North India

Kisan Sabha has expressed deep concern over the widespread damage caused to rabi crops due to unseasonal rains, hailstorms and thunderstorms in several states during the last week. Due to rain, hailstorm and strong winds, the main crops like wheat, mustard, vegetables etc. have been flattened and destroyed, as a result of which the average yield is set to decline drastically and the work of harvesting the flattened crops is getting even more difficult and expensive.

The extent of damage can be imagined considering the fact that the crops were at maturity stage and almost the entire investment in the form of cost had already been spent by the farmers. Farmers and agricultural laborers have been completely shattered due to widespread damage especially in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh etc. In this context, special attention needs to be paid to the plight of the sharecroppers. and the poor tenant farmers who rent the land and pay the land owner the full amount of rent even though the crop fails.

AIKS Vice President Inderjit Singh and state leaders from Haryana visited the affected areas and saw the despair prevailing among the people. AIKS shares the anguish of the affected farmers and demands that the Revenue Department should conduct a thorough survey in a transparent manner to make a fair and objective assessment of the damage and compensate the loss. AIKS takes objection to the uploading of damages on the portal within the stipulated time limit for claiming compensation such as impractical conditions being laid down for the affected farmers. It is also the responsibility of the government administration to ensure that private insurance companies honor the claims of farmers insured under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana-PMFBY.

But, the PMFBY, the flagship scheme announced with much fanfare in 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, turned out to be a bleak farce. The need of the hour is a comprehensive crop insurance scheme under the public sector with active role of the State Governments. AIKS demands early survey and assessment of damages and subsequent release of adequate compensation. Adequate financial assistance should be provided to the sections completely dependent on agriculture like agricultural labourers. State governments should take up MNREGA employment on a large scale to ensure income and livelihood support to the needy.

AIKS demands that the government take several steps including loan waiver, deferment of recovery of electricity bills, interest-free loans for sowing the next crop, availability of cheap inputs, etc. to alleviate the suffering of farmers. AIKS appeals to the farmers to come forward in large numbers and put pressure on the revenue. The administration should ensure early assessment of loss and release of adequate compensation later.

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