Kolkata, Dec 31 (IANS) In a bid to woo farmers ahead of the New Year, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced yearly financial aid of Rs 5,000 per acre for all peasant families in the state.
Banerjee also announced life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh for each of the state’s farmers aged 18-60 years under a state-sponsored ‘Krishak Bondhu’ scheme from 2019.
“Bengal has a vast stretch of agricultural land. We have 72 lakh families who earn their livelihood through farming. Our government will provide a financial aid of Rs 5,000 per acre to each of these families every year in two instalments. This includes both farmers and agricultural labourers,” Banerjee told reporters here.
“All the farmers within the age group of 18 to 60 years will be provided life insurance coverage of Rs. 2 lakh by the state government. In case of their death, be it natural or unnatural, the families would be provided the money,” she announced.
The Trinamool Congress supremo said the scheme is designed to secure the “lives of farmers”.
“The money under the scheme will start from tomorrow (January 1). The farmers will be able to apply for the insurance from February 1, 2019. In case of any farmer’s death, the state agricultural department will provide the money to the family,” she explained.
Referring to the farmers’ suicide in the country, Banerjee said no such incidents of unnatural death of farmers have been recorded in Bengal so far as the state government takes good care of them.
“Bengal government provides the large share of the crop insurance. Also, we provide financial aid to farmers if crops are destroyed,” Banerjee said.
“We do not want any farmer to suffer unnatural deaths or commit suicide. Close to 12,000 farmers have suffered unnatural deaths in the country. Such incidents have not taken place in Bengal. We give protection to our farmers,” she added.