Centre allocates Rs 795 crore drought assistance to Karnataka

Centre allocates Rs 795 crore drought assistance to Karnataka

The Centre on Thursday allocated Rs 795.54 crore as assistance to Karnataka to provide relief to farmers who suffered loss of rabi crops in the last fiscal.

The decision was taken at a meeting of High-Level Committee (HLC) here chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

"The Committee examined the proposal based on the report of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team which visited the drought-affected state of Karnataka. The HLC approved the assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) in respect of Karnataka to the tune of Rs 795.54 crore," an official statement.

Karnataka had sought Rs 3,310 crore from the Centre to deal with the crisis.

State Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda and Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa had met the Home Minister before the HLC meeting.

"We are glad that the decision has been taken. Though the relief amount is lower than our demand, it is higher than Rs 607 crore sanctioned for rabi crop loss in 2015-16," Gowda said.

Expressing hope that the money would be released soon, he said, there was a three-month delay in the release of drought relief funds for Kharif crop loss in 2016-17.

He was of the view that early release of funds will benefit farmers, who are preparing fields for the Kharif sowing in the current year.

In March, Karnataka had received Rs 171.69 crore as central assistance thought the state had asked Rs 362 crore to help farmers whose crop was affected due to excess rains in Bidar, Kalaburgi and Yadgir districts.

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