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Maharashtra: Devendra Fadnavis Govt Gives Drought-affected Farmers Avg 86 Paise in Land-Tax Rebate

The total rebate offered was Rs 2,815,824 when there are 3,482,663 farmers in the targeted districts.

Farmers of eight districts in Maharashtra’s drought-affected Marathwada area have reportedly, received merely 86 paise as relief from the Devendra Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state administration.

Loksatta reported that after the region was declared drought-affected, the farmers received land-tax related rebates from the state government. However, while the total rebate offered was Rs 2,815,824, there are 3,482,663 farmers in these districts. This, in turn, comes to about 86 paise per farmer. The report cited that the BJP government in the state has asked for additional help of Rs 900 crores from the Centre but as of now, it is unclear as to when the amount would be provided.

Under the state government’s drought relief programme, aside from land-tax rebate, farmers get 33 per cent reduction in their current electricity bill and debt restructuring of their existing loans. However, faulty implementation of these alleviative measures reportedly continues to dog the farmers.

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The Loksatta report stated that electricity consumption was low in these districts on account of inadequate water supply. Moreover, farmers have huge arrears of their electricity bills on account of which, the 33 per cent reduction does not aid them much. As it stands, there are arrears of Rs 1,186 crores payable on the agricultural pumps used to draw water.

Lastly, although March 31 is the last date for farmers’ debt restructuring with the state government stating that compulsory debt collection is not being done, farmers who have borrowed money for crop insurance from microfinance companies continue to bear the burden of loan repayment.

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