Provide package to orchardists, reschedule loans in Kashmir, Bukhari

Srinagar, May 22 (UNI) Expressing serious concern over the immense losses incurred by fruit growers an farmers due to hailstorm, Apni Party (AP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday demanded special package to orchardists and farmers in Kashmir.

‘We demand a special package for the orchardists and farmers in general for the losses suffered by them due to incessant rains and hailstorm across Kashmir valley,’ Bukhari said in a statement this afternoon.

He expressed serious concern over the immense losses incurred by the fruit growers and farming community especially in North and South Kashmir and urged the government to assess the damages and provide an adequate compensation accordingly.

He said that it is the prime obligation of the government to resolve the sufferings of the distressed orchardists and farmers who form the backbone of J&K’s agriculture and horticulture based economy.

Bukhari said that the government must press into service the field officials of the revenue, agriculture and horticulture departments for an on spot assessment of the damage suffered by the farmers and orchardists across Kashmir.

“The fruit growers and farmers are under tremendous stress because of the damage caused by the recent hailstorm. I appeal to the Lt. Governor to come up with a comprehensive relief package for the affected farmers so that their burdens are lessened to a certain extent,” he demanded.

Bukhari also pleaded that the agricultural loans taken by the hailstorm affected farmers and fruit growers need to be rescheduled while keeping in view the current edgy circumstances caused by the prevailing pandemic.

“The burden of bad loans is bound to deteriorate the situation for the fruit growers and farmers who are not sure for a copious crop and fruits this year. The government must consider the case of this nimble section of our society on humanitarian grounds and make provisions to reschedule their bank loans while extending the facility of soft loans in their favour,” he said.

He also stressed on a supplementary financial assistance for the farmers and orchardists so as to enable them to have necessary agricultural and horticulture supplies required for saving their remaining crops.

“The J&K government must take all the necessary measures so as to help the distressed farmers and orchardists to cope up with the current crisis. The government must also implement the crop insurance scheme and help out the affected farmers and orchardists who have lost a major portion of their crops to the weather vagaries this year,” he added.

UNI BAS SB 1626

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