Ramakanta Biswas

The mudslinging between the Centre and the Odisha over farmer issue continues in the run-up to the bypoll to Padampur constituency with the Centre on Thursday holding the State responsible for delay in payment of crop insurance.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday shot off a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and countered the claims that many affected farmers have not received their crop insurance dues despite continuous follow up and pursuance by the State government.

Tomar said the responsibility of floating the bids for the implementation of PMFBY, allocating the cluster of districts to the Insurance Companies (ICs) and agreement of premium rates vests with the State Government as per the norms of the Revamped Operational Guidelines (ROGs). 

The Centre introduced the Revamped Operational Guidelines (ROGs) from Kharif-2020 to ensure that the interests of the farmers are protected and the eligible farmers get the eligible claims in a timely manner. 

“Further, the responsibility of conducting the CCEs in a transparent manner through the CCE App also vests with the State Government,” Tomar wrote. 

The Union Minister’s letter came two days after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced input assistance for drought-hit areas of Odisha. He said about Rs 200 crore will be spent from the state exchequer to support the distressed farmers.

While making the announcement, the State government claimed that drought-hit farmers have not yet received their crop insurance dues from the Centre despite continuous follow up and pursuance by the State government.

On the other hand, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced central relief for farmers through a social media post.

“A decision in this regard has been taken by the technical advisory committee constituted by the Government of India and the insurance companies. The state government have also been instructed to issue claims with immediate effect. The central government is committed to clear the claims of farmers at the earliest,” Tomar said in a twitter post.

Reported by Harihar Chand

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