KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced an assistance of 2,900 crore for 10.5 million farmers and sharecroppers under the state’s Krishak Bandhu welfare scheme and another 293 crore as compensation for crop loss because of the weather.

West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee with some of her party’s newly elected Lok Sabha MPs (Hindustan Times)

Banerjee announced the decisions in back-to-back social media posts after chairing her second administrative meeting after the Lok Sabha polls.

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The premium for the crop insurance scheme, Bangla Shasya Bima, is borne by the Trinamool Congress government.

“Since its inception in 2019, 3,133 crore have reached the bank accounts of 10 million affected farmers,” Banerjee said in a post on X, referring to the insurance scheme.

The move comes 48 hours of the Union finance ministry’s June 10 decision to release 1,39,750 crore to states in June, which includes an advance instalment to accelerate capital expenditures of states. West Bengal’s share is 10,513 crore.

The release of the states’ share in taxes coincided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi signing off on a cash-transfer installment for farmers. Modi’s office said the money being released under PM Kisan Nidhi will benefit 93 million farmers and distribute about 20,000 crore. It is a central-sector scheme with 100% funding from the Centre. Any land-owning farming household can enrol itself subject to exclusions, such as income ceilings, tax payments and total asset value.

Banerjee said 2,900 crore that would be directly deposited into bank account of the state’s farmers under the Krishak Bandhu welfare scheme was the “first dose of financial assistance” for the Kharif season and an equal installment would be deposited later for the Rabi season.

“We are committed to our farmers’ economic betterment and social security,” she said.

“For cultivable land of one acre onwards, a farmer gets 10,000/-, and for lesser quantum of land, proportionate amount with minimum being 4,000/- per year… In addition, for a farmer dying between 18 and 60, his family gets death compensation of 2 lakh. Total 1,12,000 bereaved families in West Bengal have received total 2240 crore in last few years on this account,” the chief minister said.