Maharashtra Government aid to onion growers a “Cruel Joke”: Opposition

Business News, Nation, (Mumbai), December 21:-The opposition Congress and the NCP on Thursday termed as a “cruel joke” the Maharashtra government’s announcement of Rs 200 per quintal ex-gratia to onion growers and called for increasing the assistance.

The Congress has asked the BJP-led government to raise the ex-gratia by Rs 10 per kg, while the NCP said it be increased to Rs 5 per kg.

“The government has short-changed farmers by announcing Rs 200 ex-gratia per quintal. (Falling prices of) onions have already brought tears in the eyes of farmers.”

“Instead of wiping those, the government has played a cruel joke on them. The government should immediately declare ex-gratia of Rs 10 per kg,” Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil of the Congress said on Twitter.

Hitting out at the Fadnavis government, Opposition Leader in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde of the NCP said farmers had originally demanded ex-gratia of Rs 500 per quintal.

“So, instead of the ex-gratia of Rs 2 per kg, the government should increase it to Rs 5 per kg and transfer the amount within a month on the accounts of farmers, “Mr Munde added.

He warned his party would stage protests in case the government did not given any relief to onion growers within a week.

The Maharashtra government today announced Rs 150 crore as relief to onion farmers.

The decision by the state Cabinet came amid reports about farmers selling freshly harvested onions at as low as Rs 1.50 a kg in Maharashtra, the top producer of the bulb in the country.

The financial relief consists of an ex-gratia payment at the rate of Rs 200 per quintal (with an upper limit of 200 quintal per onion farmer) for the kitchen staple sold between November 1 and December 15, 2018.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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