Punjab seeks revision of flood compensation rates

Chandigarh, July 19 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Monday sought immediate revision of the compensation rates under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) and demanded a minimum relief of Rs.10,000 per acre for farmers from the central government.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday, the chief minister apprised him that Punjab had suffered nearly 100 percent crop loss in the areas affected by the recent floods.

Badal said that the compensation should be a minimum of Rs.10,000 per acre where the loss to the crop was more than 50 percent due to a natural calamity. At present, the compensation is Rs.1,600 per acre.

He urged the prime minister to immediately take a decision on the issue to provide relief to farmers.

Punjab alone contributes over 50 percent of the total foodgrain production to the national kitty despite it being not a very large state, he said, adding the heavy floods had created havoc in many districts, destroying crops in nearly 300,000 acres of agricultural land.

Badal said that the old rates of compensation had not been revised for several years despite the cost of inputs like labour, diesel, fertilisers and pesticides going up considerably in the last few years.

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