MANIPUR: In a recent development, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has accused the Manipur government of failing to disburse Rs 38.60 crore, sanctioned by the Centre as compensation for farmers affected by the ongoing violence in the region. The farmers' wing of COCOMI has set a deadline of February 10 for the government to release the allocated funds, warning of intensified agitations if the deadline is not met.
At a press conference at the UCM office in Imphal, Laishram Kiran, convener of the COCOMI Farmers Party, expressed disappointment over the non-release of the sanctioned amount. He disclosed that the funds already sanctioned by the Center are for compensation of farmers along the border who are unable to carry out their agricultural activities due to violent clashes. Highlighting the collective distress of people across the country, Kiran said the late disbursement of funds added additional hardship to the distressed farmers. The director stressed the need for immediate compensation to alleviate the plight of farmers.
Despite assurances from the chief minister and concerned ministers, the affected farmers are yet to receive the promised compensation. COCOMI coordinator Somerendro Thokchom insisted that the farmers’ group would fully support the planned agitation if the state government failed to release the funds within the stipulated time.
An independent study by a farmer-based organization found that 5,127 hectares in Manipur could not be sown due to communal unrest and the total estimated loss to the state’s agriculture sector this year would be Rs 226.50 crore.
The burden of the loss is expected to be borne by 93.36% of the total agriculture-related rice production sector, with a capital loss of Rs 211.41 crore The Center had earlier sanctioned a compensation of Rs 38.60 crore for the affected farmers, but the late disbursement of funds has aggravated the difficulties faced by farmers in Manipur.