Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday launched the Nyay scheme which seeks to transfer Rs 5,700 crore into the bank accounts of 19 lakh farmers of the state.
The event organised in Raipur on the death anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior leader Rahul Gandhi through videoconferencing.
As the first instalment, the state government transferred Rs 1,500 crore into the accounts of farmers.
Addressing the event, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi indirectly attacked the Centre’s economic package focussing on disbursement of loans, saying. “The sons/daughters of Bharat Mata presently need cash and not loans.”
Speaking on the novel coronavirus crisis, Rahul said the poor, labourers and small farmers are the worst-hit, and the Chhattisgarh government has accepted this fact that the poor deserve help the most. "Without any thought and any apprehensions, we need to put cash in the accounts of the poor to save their lives," he said. "The country runs on the shoulders of poor brothers and sisters."
The Chhattisgarh government has shown a wonderful path in this direction, added the Wayanad MP who had been pitching for transfer of cash into the accounts of the underprivileged amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Hailing the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana, Baghel said 90% farmers included in the scheme belong to BPL, SC, ST and OBC categories. “Despite our resource constraints, in the next phase of the scheme, we will be including landless poor labourers of villages," added Baghel.
For this, a committee has been formed under the chief secretary and it will submit a report to the state cabinet within two months, he said.
"We have included paddy, sugarcane, maize, pulses, oilseeds, kodo-kutki and others in the scheme and on Thursday Rs 1,500 crore was transferred into the bank accounts of 19 lakh farmers," said state agriculture minister Ravindra Chaubey, adding that the amount is meant for those farmers who have sold 84 lakh metric tonnes of paddy to the state government.
The procurement amount of other crops will also be transferred in a phased manner, he informed. "We also had a live chat with the beneficiary farmers through videoconferencing," said the minister.
He also said the Chhattisgarh government’s move comes at a time when state governments are deducting salaries of employees and even the Centre has slashed funds allocated to MPs.
On being asked about the Bharatiya Janata Party's criticism hurled at the Nyay scheme, the minister said the Centre has clear guidelines of not offering a paisa more than Rs 1,815 to farmers, so the BJP leaders don’t reserve the right to comment on this scheme.
The state expects to bear the entire cost of the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana under which farmers will get Rs 10,000 per acre of paddy, Rs 13,000 per acre of maize and Rs 10,000-15,000 per acre of sugarcane.