Shimla, May 18
The Horticulture Department is set to recommend a rise in subsidy in the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme for providing subsidy to fruit growers on the purchase of pesticides. In the proposal that the department has prepared after taking feedback from its field officers, it will also recommend the simplification of the process to avail the grant.
Digitised cards to make procedure simple
Once Udyan cards are digitised, the farmers will not need to upload various documents every time they are claiming the subsidy or any other benefit from the department. This will cut down procedural complexities involved in the process. —An official, horticulture department
The department is recommending these changes to the government following almost a zero response from fruit growers to the scheme introduced last year, which replaced the direct sale of subsidised pesticides by horticulture officials in their outlets across the state. “There has been little response to the scheme, so we are reconsidering it,” Horticulture Director RK Pruthi had said.
“The proposal is ready and will be sent to the government in a few days,” said a Horticulture official. As per the scheme, a grower is entitled to a subsidy of Rs 4,000 per hectare for temperate fruits such as apple and pear, and Rs 2,000 per hectare for sub-tropical fruits such as mango and guava. Also, they need to upload their land documents on the portal to avail the subsidy.
Even as the growers are demanding that the DBT scheme should be scrapped and the old system be brought back, the department is unlikely to roll back the scheme. “We are looking to improve the scheme and make it more grower friendly. We are asking all growers to make Udyan cards and digitise them. The scheme will be available only to the growers having Udyan cards,” he said.