Odisha urges Centre to release insurance money for drought-hit farmers

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged the Centre to release Rs 795.31 crore for disbursal among the state’s drought-hit farmers.

In a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the Chief Minister said the state government had taken many steps to alleviate the hardships faced by the drought-hit farmers during Kharif 2015.

Pointing out that more than 21 lakh farmers in the state were covered under under National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) during Kharif 2015, under which the money is sought, he said the Agriculture Insurance Company of India has approved claims of Rs 1,776.34 crore for Kharif 2015 season for Odisha on October 5.

The company is the designated implementing agency for NAIS.

“The state farmers have made all out efforts and incurred expenses for agricultural activities during Rabi 2015-16 and Kharif 2016, assisted by facilitative actions taken by the state government,” Patnaik said.

In order to help them overcome the adverse effects of drought last year, it is essential that their insurance claims are settled at the earliest without any further delay, he added.

“The total claim approved is Rs 1,776.34 crore, of which the state and central share is Rs 795.31 crore each. The state has already sanctioned its share, which will be disbursed to the farmers as soon as the government of India’s share is received,” said the Chief Minister.

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