Farmers organisations have welcomed Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami’s announcement sanctioning input relief for farmers affected by recent cyclones – Nivar and Burevi.

Expressing gratitude to the government for accepting their pleas for increasing the relief given under the disaster relief fund to ₹20,000 from ₹13,500 a hectare, P. R. Pandian, president, Tamil Nadu All Farmers Associations Coordination Committee, observed that for several years the relief given under fund had not been increased. “We have been pressing for a hike taking into account the increase in input and cultivation costs,” he said, expressing delight over the hike in the quantum of compensation.

He also welcomed the government’s decision to do away with the distinction between small and big farmers by sanctioning relief for the entire affected area instead of restricting it to two acres. “This is a historic announcement made by the Chief Minister,” Mr. Pandian observed thanking all government officials who took efforts to get the relief sanctioned.

The general secretary of Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, Cauvery S. Dhanapalan, while pointing out farmers had staged a massive demonstration in Nagapattinam demanding relief on Saturday, expressed happiness over the removal of distinction between small and big farmers in the sanction of relief. He also welcomed the government’s decision to increase the relief to ₹20,000 a hectare by coming forward to bear the additional expenditure over and above the relief given under the National Disaster Relief Fund. The sanction of funds for perennial crops and affected farmers in rain-fed areas also is another welcome step. “Through the measures, the government has definitely extended a helping hand to farmers though the relief amount may not fully meet the expenses incurred by them,” Mr. Dhanapalan said.

While expressing satisfaction on sanction of the relief, R. Raja Chidambaram, state secretary, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said it was essential to ensure that it was disbursed to all affected farmers by ensuring that the enumeration was conducted properly at the village level. “There were complaints that the enumeration was not done properly in some villages. The disbursement of the relief should be done without giving room for any irregularity or discrepancy,” he said.

Mr. Pandian too urged the government to ensure that the relief was disbursed speedily and in a transparent manner. “Transparency should be ensured by making public the list of beneficiaries at the village-level,” Mr. Pandian suggested.

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