Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday launched the online transfer of diesel subsidy directly into the bank accounts of farmers in the state.
Kumar started the facility for farmers by clicking the mouse button at a function held at CM Secretariat here, a government release said.
Speaking on the occasion, Kumar said “A new system of online payment of diesel subsidy to farmers has been initiated today. Registered farmers would now directly get payment of diesel subsidy into their bank accounts. I am happy to say that 11,00 farmers have got the money of diesel subsidy transferred into their accounts at a rate of Rs 50 per litre today.”
Agreeing with the suggestion of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Kumar said that farmers will be registered for once in order to avail the benefits of other schemes.
Earlier, it used to take three months for farmers to get the money of diesel subsidy but with the launch of online payment system, farmers would now be able to get the diesel subsidy within 25 days, the CM said in a release.
All the district agriculture officers, agriculture coordinators in blocks, agriculture advisors should start a campaign in every villages in order to give information about various schemes and their benefits to the farmers, Kumar said adding that officials should get farmers registered besides linking their bank accounts with “aadhaar”.
The agriculture department officials would also make farmers understand to go for the cultivation of alternative crops if paddy cultivation is not possible in that particular area. The seeds of alternative crops should be made availble to farmers, the CM said.
Chief secretary, Agriculture Department officials, District Magistrates and Block level officials should keep a tab on every aspect so that farmers should not have any problems, he said.
“Around 76 per cent people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. We are sensitive towards them. The state government would provide all possible help to farmers in the event of disaster,” Kumar said.
The state has witnessed 48 per cent deficit rainfall so far whereas some of the districts have even witnessed 80 per cent deficit rainfall, the CM said.
Stating that a slew of decisions was taken at a high-level meeting held yesterday, Kumar said the diesel subsidy was Rs 35 per litre last year which was increased to Rs 40 a litre earlier this year and now it was further hiked to Rs 50 a litre for farmers to irrigate land.
Rural areas, which used to get power supply of around 16 to 18 hours a day, will now get power supply of 20 to 22 hours a day for irrigation purpose, he said and added that power tariff has been reduced from existing 96 paise to 75 paise per unit for agriculture purpose. The rate of 75 paise per unit would also be applicable to state tubewells or private tubewells, he added.
Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) has been asked to increase the number of tankers to 500 from the existing 175 to ensure potable water, he said.
The CM said that a high level meeting has been convened on July 31 to review the drought-like situation.