Odisha government on Saturday said arrangements are being made to provide crop insurance to the farmers affected by last year’s drought within two weeks even as opposition Congress walked out of the house in protest.
"There has been a delay in payment of insurance amount to the affected farmers. The delay was mostly due to contradictory reports. However, the government is taking steps to provide insurance amount to affected farmers within two weeks," Cooperation minister Damodar Rout told the Assembly while replying to an adjournment debate on the state’s alleged failure to release insurance to farmers.
Rout said the state government has sent the required report to the central government for release of its share in the insurance. The state government is ready with Rs.800 crore for the purpose and as soon as the centre releases its share of Rs.800 crore, the farmers will get their insurance due, he said.
The cooperation, however, asked the Treasury bench members not to blame the centre for the delay in payment of the insurance amount as the state government sent its report only on September 3.
Citing an instance, the minister said there was contradiction in the reports filed by the special relief commissioner (SRC) and the Statistical Bureau. When the SRC report said that there was 100 per cent crop loss in Bolangir district, the Statistical Bureau put the data at 29 per cent.
Similar contradictions were also marked in other districts, the minister said.
Earlier, both the Congress and the BJP members had strongly criticised the state government for not giving insurance amount to farmers, "forcing" them to commit suicide.
"This government has betrayed farmers in giving insurance. It betrayed the farmers several times in giving insurance, providing irrigation and free power to agricultural field," alleged Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra before leading the walkout of his party colleagues.
BJP member Rabi Nayak also criticised the government for "not being able" to help the farmers at the time of need.