BARGARH: WIith a host of issues pushing the BJD-led Government on a sticky wicket and BJP upping its ante against the party, the State Government in a belated move has woken up to meet the promises made by the Chief Minister. It has been decided to dole out special drought assistance (SDA) of `100 per quintal of paddy.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department informed the Collectors of Bargarh, Balangir and Khurda districts about the Government’s decision to begin payment of SDA but will be limited to maximum 50 quintals per farmer.
On Saturday, the Chief Minister will flag off the programme through video conferencing and disbursement of SDA will be done through electronic transfer to bank accounts of affected farmers. Naveen is also slated to interact with select farmers, through video conferencing and Collectors have been asked to prepare a list of at least 50 beneficiaries. In a symbolic disbursement, the select beneficiaries will receive the SDA while the rest will follow suit in normal course.
Convenor, Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti (POKSSS), Ashok Pradhan said it is unfortunate that it took one year for the State Government to pay the SDA. Had the State Government paid in time, it would have helped the distressed farmers, he observed.
With the Panchayat Poll scheduled in February, the action is bound calm down frayed tempers of the farmers, who are up in arms against the State Government. On November 19 last year, Naveen Pattnaik had announced to provide SDA to farmers affected during kharif season at a Farmers’ Convention held at Haldipali near Sohela in the district. With the district recording a large number of suicides among farmers over failed crop, the announcement had come as a balm for the affected farmers. But, with the implementation getting delayed farmers bodies resorted to agitations leaving the Sate Government worried.