Patna: Faced with deficient rainfall in seven districts, Bihar government today hiked diesel subsidy to farmers for irrigation of additional paddy and maize crops in Bihar, an official said.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Principal Secretary (Cabinet Coordination and Secretariat) Ravikant said.

The diesel subsidy to farmers was hiked by Rs 5 per litre to Rs 25 per litre and will be applicable for additional irrigation of paddy and maize crops over and above the subsidy provided for paddy crops cultivated five times and maize for three times a year, he said.

The state government had earlier sanctioned Rs. 619.75 crore towards diesel subsidy, Ravikant said adding additional funds will be released for the purpose, if required.

In the seven districts which had registered less than 50 percent coverage of paddy plantation due to rain shortfall, minikit of seeds under the contingency crop schemes like pulses, vegetables to the farmers, the Principal Secretary (Cabinet Coordination and Secretariat) said.

He said Rs. 17.94 crores had been approved for distribution of minikits as well as three irrigation of such alternative crops.

The state government approved implementation of the centrally-sponsored scheme for integrated water harvesting and management scheme in Bihar for five years in seven rain deficient districts at a cost of Rs. 230.16 crores comprising the central share of Rs. 207.14 crores and Rs. 23.02 crores as state share, he said.

The scheme will help preservation of water in these seven districts and boost protection of environment, he said.


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