Govt open to suggestions on diesel subsidy: CS Karim
Thursday, 24 April 2008

The government will consider valid suggestions from any quarter on the diesel subsidy programme for small farmers that began Apr 14, adviser CS Karim said Wednesday, reports agency.

The agriculture adviser, at a seminar on the effects of diesel subsidy, said that the government had asked the authorities concerned to make lists of farmers receiving subsidies to be affixed in front of Union Parishad offices.

CS Karim said that the government directive was intended to bring transparency in the subsidy distribution process. He added that farmers using electricity for irrigation would get 20 percent rebate on their bills and that the government had given approximately Tk 4,000 crore in fertiliser subsidies this year.

The government decided on direct subsidies to marginalised boro farmers to help them recover the cost of diesel used for irrigation. Farmers who have grown boro paddy on less than 2.5 acres of land are eligible to receive the subsidy, Tk 545 per acre of land cultivated.

The government will pay out a total of Tk 250 crore to 67 lakh farmers under the programme. An official of the agriculture ministry said that names of farmers, measures of land and the amount of money they were receiving would be recorded on the lists.

Finance adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam inaugurated the diesel subsidy programme on April 14 at Dighi Union Parishad in Manikganj.

He had asked local authorities to undertake measures to ensure that farmers got due prices for their agricultural output. The agriculture ministry estimated that boro paddy was being grown on 46 lakh hectares of land this year with the target to grow 1.69 crore metric tonnes of paddy.

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