In a surprising move by the state government, farmers in Bengal are getting machines just by paying the Goods and Services Tax (GST), to set up better micro irrigation facilities. This comes at a time when there has been unusually low rainfall in 10 districts in Bengal. According to Asish Banerjee, the state Agriculture minister, it has become possible only because of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s initiative to introduce the Bangla Krishi Sech Yojana. It may be mentioned that there has been unusually less rainfall in the districts of West Midnapore, Hooghly, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Malda, Cooch Behar, East and West Burdwan and North and South Dinajpur.
In such a situation, the state government has assured farmers that there is nothing to panic, as there will be no shortage of water if farmers go for properly planned irrigation. In this light, Bangla Krishi Sech Yojana is becoming extremely helpful for farmers, including the small and marginal ones. It was from the Krishi Mela at Guskara in Ausgram Block in East Burdwan that the handing over of raingun sprinkler machines to farmers was recently initiated and as a token move, the machines were handed over to 10 farmers.
Later, many farmers applied for the same online and the process of handing them over is also going on. Most importantly, the farmers just had to pay the GST to procure a machine, which cost Rs 31,000 each.