Julie Mariappan | TNN
Two of the cheque leaves produced before the assembly on Wednesday by DMK members were for ridiculously low amounts.
CHENNAI: The farmers of Boduvarpatti in Dindigul district were shocked when they saw the compensation cheques issued by the Dindigul Central Cooperative Bank Ltd last month to alleviate farm distress. They were for amounts as low as Rs 5 and Rs 10. The state government admitted that such a faux pas had occurred during disbursal of cheques in certain villages of Dindigul and ordered insurance companies to rectify the “clerical errors.”
There was ruckus in the House when former minister K Pitchandi alleged that the farmers of Dindigul received cheques of Rs 5 and Rs 10 as relief from the insurance companies for the damage to crop last year. “Karupasamy gets Rs 10 compensation after paying a premium of Rs 102 for insuring his one acre. So does Thirumalaisamy, who got Rs 5 for his premium of Rs 50 for an acre. Looks like this is the state which got highest compensation and lowest disbursement,” the DMK leader said.
Farmers are eligible to receive up to Rs 26,000/acre of paddy based on yield loss, Rs 12,000 for pulses, and up to Rs 20,000 for millets as compensation under crop insurance.
The DMK MLA waved a few more cheque leaves, that of Kumaravel, another farmer, who got Rs 10 for his 1.11 cent and his friend, Kanakaraj, who received a cheque for Rs 7 for 0.74 cent. Agriculture minister R Doraikkannu said the state was giving utmost priority to farmers’ welfare. Tamil Nadu got Rs 523 crore provided as state’s share of premium subsidy under crop insurance. Cooperative minister Sellur K Raju admitted there were some lapses in districts like Dindigul and Nagapattinam. “We have directed the district collectors to find out what went wrong,” he said. Minister O S Manian admitted to discrepancies and said the issue would be resolved soon.
Leader of opposition M K Stalin asked, “Just Rs 5 and Rs 10 relief for an acre of distress?” The TN government was taking pride in realizing Rs 3,113 crore from insurance companies towards compensation claims last year, dubbing it a historic development.
Sources say government departments, revenue, statistics and agriculture, along with insurance companies, were involved in crop cutting experiments in villages for insurance claims. “Only three villages in Dindigul faced the problem and some societies in Nagapattinam have made higher claims. The companies have been told to rectify the clerical error,” said a senior government official.