Modi announces higher aid for rain-affected farmers

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Harass farmer sitting in a paddy

New Delhi, Apr 8 : Coming to the rescue of farmers hit by unseasonal rains and hailstorm, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced higher compensation for crop damage and eased criteria for them to avail government support.

The Prime Minister said that he has also asked banks to restructure loans of affected farmers and instructed insurance companies to pro-actively settle their claims.

Speaking at the launch of Rs 20,000-crore MUDRA Bank, Modi said criteria of 50 per cent crop damage for providing compensation to affected farmers has been reduced to 33 per cent which will help more farmers to get compensation for their crop loss.

“Second important decision we have taken is to raise the parameters for helping him (farmers). The amount of compensation has been increased to 1.5 times. If earlier, he was getting Rs 100 as compensation, now he will get Rs 150, if it was Rs 1 lakh, he will get Rs 1.5 lakh… a 50 per cent increase,” he said.

Farmers, the Prime Minister said, have suffered a lot on account of natural calamities.

“Last year, it was due to less rainfall and this year due to unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm”, Modi said, adding that he took a review of the crop damage with Ministers sent to undertake on the spot assessment.

On Tuesday, Indian Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had said that unseasonal rains and hailstorms have damaged rabi (winter-sown) crops in about 113 lakh hectares of crop area in the country