9 months after drought declaration, 53% farmers yet to get input subsidy

Bhubaneswar: Even as nine months have passed since 27 districts of Odisha were declared drought-hit, the State government is yet to disburse agriculture input subsidy to around 53% of farmers in these districts.

Shockingly, only 2% of the drought-affected farmers in Nayagarh district have received the government assistance till date. At 5%, the fate of farmers in Cuttack and Jajpur districts has been only marginally better.

Reviewing the disbursement of input subsidy at a high level meeting here today, chief secretary AP Padhi on Tuesday has directed all district collectors to meet 100% disbursement target by the end of July.

“Chief secretary has asked the district collectors to complete the disbursement process by July 31. In some districts the performance level has been very poor. Around Rs 926 crore has already been dispatched to the offices of respective collectors. But so far, only 47% disbursement is complete,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeepta Mohapatra said.

Official figures show the disbursement in Gajapati, Khurda and Deogarh districts has been 20%, 24% and 25% respectively.

Though the State government had demanded Rs 2,344.99 crore as drought assistance, the Centre sanctioned only Rs 815 crore.