Nine months after it announced subsidy for the onion growers in the state, who had incurred losses during the 2016 kharif season, the Maharashtra government has now decided to disburse the financial aid. "The subsidy of Rs 100 per quintal is finally going to be disbursed to the onion growers from the Maharashtra government's contingency fund," state Marketing Minister Subhash Deshmukh told PTI today. There are around 1.25 lakh farmers in the state, who would benefit from this financial assistance. As of now, the total amount is estimated to be Rs 48 crore to Rs 50 crore, he said adding, "If the state government gets more applications, we will disburse the amount accordingly." According to the minister, similar financial assistance was given to farmers in 2009 by the state government, wherein they were given Rs 50 per quintal. Recently, the government had issued a GR stating that only those farmers, who incurred losses in July and August 2016 after selling their yield to agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) in the state, will be covered under this scheme. Every eligible onion cultivator will get financial assistance of Rs 100 per quintal. The amount will be provided to up to 200 quintals only.
If a farmer has produced and sold more than 200 quintals of onion, he will get a financial assistance only up to 200 quintals, the GR added. To get the subsidy, the farmers have to submit an application mentioning their Aadhaar number linked bank account number, 7/12 receipt of land record and the Aadhaar number attached with a copy of the APMC, where the onion was sold, the GR said. Meanwhile, Raghunath Patil, a farmers' leader from Sangli district, criticised the government saying that the subsidy being provided to the farmers was to low. "The state government is fooling the farmers by claiming that it is providing an assistance of Rs 100 per quintal. It had given Rs 50 in 2009 and after seven years it has increased it to Rs 100," he said. "All the prices generally get doubled in seven years, hence the financial assistance (to onion growers) in 2009 and 2016 is qualitatively at the same level. The government's claim of doubling the aid is misleading and half-truth.