The government of Pondicherry announced on 27 April 2017 that the farmers in the Union Territory will be getting free power supply from this month for pump sets used for irrigation purpose.
The same was confirmed by the Department of Agriculture through a notification wherein it stated that the introduction of free power supply was in line with the assurance given by the Agriculture Minister during the previous fiscal year’s budget session (2016- 2017).
The move has, however, been adopted in the current fiscal year, which is 2017-2018.
• The council of Ministers had approved the proposal for the free supply of electricity to small and other classes of farmers in the Union Territory.
• While around 960 farmers fall in the small farmer category that would benefit from the scheme, almost 5911 farmers come under the others category.
• Overall, the scheme is expected to benefit around 7000 farmers.
• The cost expected to be incurred by the government on the implementation of the scheme is estimated to be around Rs 1.95 Cr in the current fiscal year.
The move is expected to ease some of the woes of Puducherry’s farmers. Just two days back on 25 April 2017, the DMK (an alliance partner of ruling Congress in Puducherry) had called for a bandh to highlight the farmers’ woes and seek immediate redressal of their grievances. The bandh was supported by A Namassivayam, the PWD Minister and PCC leader of Puducherry, who appealed to all sections of workers, business community, traders, fleet operators and others to extend support to the cause.