Drought relief packages for MP and Maharashtra

The centre sanctions relief assistance of Rs. 5,083 crores to drought hit states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh

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Geetanjali Minhas | December 30, 2015



The centre on Tuesday announced drought relief assistance of Rs. 5,083 crores for the states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh which have been facing severe drought due to below normal monsoon in 2015.  

Maharashtra will get Rs 3,050 crore and Madhya Pradesh will get Rs 2,033 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).

Both the states sought financial assistance while declaring 48 drought affected districts. Madhya Pradesh asked for Rs 4,800 crore and Maharashtra sought Rs 4,330 crore.

Agricultural minister, Radha Mohan Singh, who is part of a high-level committee on disaster relief headed by home minister Rajnath Singh said, “Since 2014-2015, the central government has enhanced its contribution to the state disaster relief fund (SDRF) which can also be availed by state governments to provide drought relief”.

In 2014-15, drought hit states received Rs 7,800 crore as contribution from the centre for SDRF while the same was enhanced to Rs 11,080 crore in 2015-16.

“During the previous UPA regime, Maharashtra had sought Rs 10,500 crore from the NDRF in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14, but was allocated only Rs 2,642 crore. After the NDA government came to power, the state had sought Rs 8,000 crore in 2014-15 and 2015-16, and got Rs 5,000 crore.”, he added.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said it was the “biggest-ever” relief given to the state for any natural disaster. “I am grateful to the government and Rajnath Singhji for approving financial assistance towards Maharashtra drought relief.”

Replying to opposition parties for attacking the government on excluding Maharashtra from the states that received financial aid for disasters, Fadnavis said, "There cannot be a more befitting reply to those who have been only doing politics on drought instead of uniting for farmers in times of distress”.

Some states like Chhattisgarh that never received any assistance from NDRF under the UPA, received assistance of Rs 1,600 crore under the NDA regime. Chhattisgarh had claimed a relief of around Rs 6,000 crore for drought.

Due to 14 percent deficit in southwest monsoon this year, 280 districts spread across 10 states have declared drought. The centre has approved relief packages of Rs 1,540 crore for Karnataka and will support Uttar Pradesh that has sought assistance of Rs. 2,000 crore.

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