Centre may meet just one-third of state's drought-relief demand

Karnataka is expected to get a little over one-third of the Rs 4,702 crore it had demanded as drought relief from the Centre. A central panel that examined the Karnataka government's proposal for funds to compensate loss of kharif crop last year has recommended a Rs 1,784.44-crore payout.

Decision tomorrow
The High Level Committee headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to take a decision on the allocation of drought relief to the state when it meets on Wednesday. Additionally, the state government had also sought Rs 362 crore to help farmers whose crops were affected due to excess rains in Bidar, Kalaburagi and Yadgir districts of the state.

Last week, an all-party delegation led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to sanction a Rs 5,064-crore relief package to tide over the crisis caused by severe drought in most parts of the state and excess rains in three districts.

Making a strong pitch for maximum relief, Siddaramaiah told the Prime Minister that the state had faced the worst drought in the last 50 years affecting 139 of the 176 taluks. The Central team had toured some drought-hit regions of the state in November and submitted its report early last month.

Karnataka ministers Krishna Byre Gowda and Kagodu Thimmappa also had separate meetings with Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to urge them to expedite the release of funds.

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