Madhya Pradesh Chief Shivraj Singh Chouhan has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to continue the National Crop Insurance Scheme in the interest of farmers till new arrangement is made and also sought early release of Rs 3,500 crore grant for Simhastha fair in 2016.
In a letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, Chouhan pointed out that the Centre had abolished National Crop Insurance Scheme without consulting states. After objections raised by Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the Centre extended National Crop Insurance Scheme till last Rabi season, but later abolished it again, official sources said today.
In place of National Crop Insurance Scheme, the central government proposed National Crop Insurance Programme. However, it was found during analysis that this programme will increase financial burden on farmers. Its implementation is also not practical since according to it, separate tenders will be invited in different districts and there will be separate district-wise rates.
The chief minister wrote that previous National Crop Insurance Scheme also had some lacunae. But the proposed National Crop Insurance Programme will increase farmers' problems instead of solving them.
At present, no crop insurance scheme is in place even as Kharif sowing is round the corner. The situation is a matter of concern not only for Madhya Pradesh, but also for other states and the country. It will have adverse effect on agriculture production and farmers, he said in the letter. The chief minister has urged the prime minister to direct Agriculture Ministry to continue National Crop Insurance Scheme till receipt of consent from states after consultation with them over the issue.
Chouhan also drew Modi's attention towards Simhastha Fair (Kumbh Mela held once in 12 years) due in April-May 2016 in Ujjain.
Simhastha is an event of national, cultural and religious importance in which over three crore people from all over the country participate. Arrangements are on for the event and the state government has already spent Rs 931 crore on various infrastructure development projects, the Chief Minister said. He also said that he had written two letters to Vice-Chairman of Planning Commission on September 10, 2013 and April 3, 2014 urging the Centre to cooperate in Simhastha works. The Planning Commission gave aid to Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand for Kumbh Melas, but did not provide any funds for Simhastha so far.
In view of time constraint, the state government has started various infrastructure development projects from its own resources costing Rs 931 crore so far. The chief minister said an action plan worth Rs 3,500 crore has been chalked out for infrastructure-related works to be done by various departments for Simhastha. This amount can go up in view of requirements for development.
All Simhastha-related projects are to be completed before March 2016, he said.