2.5m Indian Farmers miss out on drought-compensation

By on 01/04/2015

Two-and-a-half million Indian farmers have not received drought compensation paid out by the government because they do not have bank accounts, the Times of India reports today.

Nearly 9m farmers in the western region of Maharashtra have suffered the devastating effects of the drought, which was brought on by a delayed monsoon earlier this year and followed damaging hailstorms last year.

The Government of Maharashtra sent out 639m Indian Rupees – the equivalent of $10.3m – to farmers.

But, according to official data, 11% of the money bounced back into the state’s coffers.

Around 6.5m farmers have been compensated so far with the rest still awaiting aid.

Maharashtra decided last year to pay aid only to bank accounts of beneficiaries instead of dispensing cash, in an attempt to plug leakages.

Relief and rehabilitation minister Eknath Khadse said: “In some cases, compensation did not reach farmers because the claimant was missing or there was a dispute among beneficiaries.

“But in many cases, the aid was returned because the farmers did not have bank accounts.”

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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