Drought relief: Centre says funds for Karnataka, TN released

Drought relief: Centre says funds for Karnataka, TN released
The Centre on Saturday said it has released Rs 1,235.42 crore to Karnataka and Rs 1,447.99 crore to Tamil Nadu as drought relief amid criticism that the funds were insufficient.

The government asserted that it is concerned over the prevailing drought in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has instructed that in the next three months, all states should focus on water conservation-related works by utilising the funds available under various schemes.

Providing details about the assistance given to the states, an official statement said Rs 1,793.63 crore was sanctioned to Tamil Nadu and Rs 1,782.44 crore to Karnataka for drought relief from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).

“For Karnataka, after adjusting Rs 96.92 crore available with the state as balance in the SDRF (State Disaster Relief Fund) and earlier release of Rs 450 crore by the central government, a sum of Rs 1,235.52 crore has been released from NDRF,” it said.

A sum of Rs 1,447.99 crore has been released to Tamil Nadu from NDRF after adjusting Rs 345.64 crore available with the state as balance in the SDRF, it said.

The state governments have also been advised to take utmost care and ensure that all the individual beneficiary-oriented assistance is mandatorily disbursed through the bank account of the beneficiaries.

These allocations are over and above the releases made to states as devolution of 42% of central taxes, as per the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission. In 2016-17, Rs 6.08 lakh crore was released to states as devolution of Central Taxes.

Tamil Nadu has received Rs 24,538 crore and Karnataka Rs 28,750 crore under the devolution formula during 2016-17.

Also, during 2016-17, the Centre has provided Rs 48,869 crore to all the states as grant for Rural and Urban Local Bodies to primarily meet the requirement of basic necessities for people living in these areas, the statement added.

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