Bargarh,November 19: The ruling Biju Janta Dal (BJD) today was organised Chasi Samavesh rally at Sohela in Bargarh district.
Addressing the gathering, Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced that the state government will provide drought assistance of Rs 100 per a quintal of paddy for farmers in drought-hit areas during procurement.
Besides, to bring down the loan burden on the farmers, one percent interest will be charged on crop loans for small farmers, he said while assuring that there would be no shortage of funds for development of agriculture.
The Chief Minister further said that his government has decided to spend Rs 35,000 crore for development in Western Odisha in the next five years of which 80% will be earmarked for agriculture.
He also declared two irrigation projects for Bargarh district. One will come up on river Aung at the cost of Rs 1500 crore while another will be on river Jeera at the cost of Rs 300 crore.
He said, "There would be no shortage of funds for development of agriculture. My government has always been giving emphasis on agriculture."
He also attacked the Centre by saying the Union government has not sanctioned a single rupee whereas the State government has allocated Rs 1,000 crroe for the farming community.
According to sources, BJD said Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy, Revenue minister Bijayshree Routray and Cooperation minister Damodar Rout have remained absent at the Samavesh.
Meanwhile, police detained former Cong MLA Nihar Mahananda, Sadhu Nepak and farmers’ leader Lingaraj to prevent any untoward incident during the BJD's farmers' rally. This apart, BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra and more than 100 party activists were also arrested ahead of the beginning of the rally.