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Jharkhand government to disburse drought aid on December 29

Sources say Hemant Soren will be doling out interim assistance of Rs 3,500 to some of the farmers at a function in Ranchi
Hemant Soren.
Hemant Soren.
File picture

Animesh Bisoee   |   Jamshedpur   |   Published 27.11.22, 03:55 AM

Jharkhand will pay its first interim relief to drought-affected farmers on December 29, which marks the completion of three years of the JMM-Congress-RJD government in the state.

Sources in the chief minister’s secretariat in Ranchi said Hemant Soren would be doling out the interim assistance of Rs 3,500 to some of the farmers at a function in the capital city on December 29.


State agriculture minister Badal Patralekh said the first lot of interim relief would be transferred to the bank accounts of the affected farmers through direct benefit transfer.

“On Saturday, we held a video conference with deputy commissioners of all 24 districts. Out of this, 22 districts whose blocks have been declared drought-affected were asked to create an awareness drive in every panchayat informing farmers to complete e-KYC verification at the nearest common service centres (known as Pragya Kendras) by paying a token amount of Re 1 in the dedicated portal We are targeting to complete maximum e-KYC verifications by the end of this month,” said Patralekh.

The minister added that the e-KYC verification would be an ongoing process.

“We have asked the deputy commissioners to create maximum awareness among the farmers on a mission mode so that the maximum number of farmers can benefit from the interim relief on December 29. However, it would be an ongoing process and those who are left out can complete the verification and get the interim assistance even after December 29,” Patralekh added.

Director of state agriculture department, Nisha Oraon, said farmers in the drought-hit blocks would have to approach the Pragya Kendras and complete their land verification, upload their personal details, Aadhaar card and bank account numbers and get an acknowledgement token.

“There are three categories of farmers who have been identified in Jharkhand — landless cultivators, landed cultivators whose crops have been damaged and those cultivators who could not sow their paddy due to drought. All of them are eligible for interim assistance,” said Oraon.

The deputy commissioners have been directed to inform the agriculture department about the funds required for the payment of interim relief based on the registration of farmers at the earliest.

In October, the Jharkhand government had declared 226 blocks in 22 districts as “drought-hit” and announced a relief package of Rs 3,500 each to more than 30 lakh farmers, totalling an expenditure of around Rs 1,200 crore

The agriculture minister also informed that a central team from the agriculture ministry would be visiting Jharkhand in the first week of December for random inspection and assessment of drought-affected blocks.

“Based on the report submitted by the central team, the Union government would send us central assistance,” Patralekh said.

Jharkhand finance minister Rameshwar Oraon had sought central assistance for drought-relief measures during a pre-budget meeting with Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“The state has already written to the agriculture cooperative and farmers’ welfare department of the Union government for central assistance on this front. I would request it to be expedited by the Centre,”  Oraon had said.

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