Cabinet Meeting: Farmer income support doubled to Rs 10,000

The decision comes close on the heels of the Centre announcing a hike in MSP (minimum support price) for Kharif crops.

The West Bengal Cabinet on Thursday decided to hike the annual allocation to each farmer under the ‘Krishak Bondhu’ scheme from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. At the launch of the scheme, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said farmers will get Rs 5,000 per annum. However, she later announced that the allocation for every farmer under the income support scheme would be doubled.

The decision comes close on the heels of the Centre announcing a hike in MSP (minimum support price) for Kharif crops.

Apart from giving the green light to the CM’s proposal to increase the outlay to the farmers, the Cabinet also decided that those with less than one acre of land will get Rs 4,000 per annum, up from Rs 2,000 earlier.

The Central government already has a similar income support scheme for farmers in the name of ‘Pradhanmantri Krishak Samman Nidhi Yojna’. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders had claimed that the Bengal farmers were deprived of the benefits of the scheme as the Trinamool Congress government had not provided the list of beneficiaries.

However, in the run-up to the Assembly election, the government sent a list to New Delhi and the Trinamool claimed that despite doing so the Centre wasn’t releasing funds for farmers under the scheme.

However, after the election results, the farmers started getting the promised allowance — Rs 6,000 per annum — under the scheme.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the state Cabinet also decided to recruit personnel for 666 vacant posts in Bangaon police district. Also, in the meeting, the CM directed all ministers to visit their respective constituencies and stay on alert for the high tide that is likely to hit the state on June 11 and June 26. The Met office has predicted that the water level on these two days may rise more than it did during Cyclone ‘Yaas’. With the storm having breached the embankments in many places, there is fear of the tidal wave causing more damage. Alerts have already gone out to all coastal districts of the state.

Abhishek meets families of lightning victims in Hooghly

Newly appointed Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday met the next of kin of those who died after they were struck by lightning in Hooghly district and handed over compensation to them on behalf of the ruling party.

On the second day of his outreach programme, Banerjee met bereaved families of 11 lightning victims in Dadpur, Tarakeswar, Khanakul areas of the district and handed over Rs 2 lakh to each family.

At Dadpur, Banerjee promised all help to the daughter of Kiron Roy, who was killed by lightning on that day.

He also went to the residence of Harun at Baganpara village and promised to look into his widow’s request for a job since she has to support her children and an ailing father-in-law.

The TMC MP also visited the homes of those killed inthe lightning strikes in Singur, Haripal, and Khanakul areas.

On Wednesday, Banerjee, who is the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had met the kin of the victims in Murshidabad district.

At least 27 people were killed in lightning strikes during a thunderstorm in three districts of south Bengal on Monday, with Hooghly district recording the highest number of 11 deaths.

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