BHUBANESHWAR: As scarcity of cash is affecting farming activities, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today directed the regional office of the Reserve Bank of India here and major commercial banks operating in the state to ensure adequate supply of Rs 500 and Rs 100 denomination currency to rural areas.
The Chief Minister gave this direction to the central bank when district collectors informed him about the acute cash crunch situation in rural areas and non-availability of Rs 500 and Rs 100 denomination notes.
Post-demonetisation, the Chief Minister reviewed the progress of paddy procurement, disbursement of crop insurance claims and drought assistance to farmers and Rabi operation with collectors of four
districts - Balangir, Cuttack, Ganjam and Sambalpur - through video conference here.
With little improvement in the cash flow to rural areas, the district collectors said the prevailing cash crunch situation has caused serious liquidity problems for the farmers who badly need money
to buy seeds, fertilisers and pay wages for farming activities.
While directing Chief Secretary A P Padhi to review the impact of demonetisation on agriculture and on rural population on regular basis, the Chief Minister said he will draw the attention of the central government for taking remedial measures to overcome the crisis.
Emphasising on timely procurement of paddy from farmers and payment of their dues, he further directed the Chief Secretary to review the progress of paddy procurement every 15 days. The district
collectors were asked ensure that farmers get minimum support price for their paddy.
The state government has already distributed special assistance of Rs 72 crore to over 2.13 lakh drought-affected farmers in the state. It had announced to provide additional assistance of Rs 100 per quintal of paddy to 2,28,030 who suffered crop loss due to drought last year.
Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout informed the meeting that Rs 1,124 crore out of Rs 1,776 crore crop insurance claims of 11.61 lakh farmers have been deposited the accounts 7 lakh beneficiaries.
Disbursement of the balance amount will be completed by December 20.