No package for Maharashtra

No package for Maharashtra

An all-party delegation of MPs and MLAs from Maharashtra, led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, which met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to demand relief package for drought-hit districts of the state failed to get any assurance from the Centre.

The delegation that met Prime Minister in Parliament demanded a relief package of Rs 2,200 crore to provide immediate assistance to drought-hit Maharashtra. However, Prime Minister asked the state to exercise fiscal discipline through proper use of allocations made by the Planning Commission.

While Congress MP Vijay Darda said the PM told the state to ensure fiscal discipline, Chavan played down the issue as he said that Central government rules did not allow immediate release of funds under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF).

When asked why he was unable to get any funds from the Centre like that Andhra and West Bengal, Chavan said: “Central government processes take some time. The Prime Minister has asked the CRF Standing Committee to look into Maharashtra government’s proposal seeking Rs 1,500 crore for drought relief and Rs 1,200 crore for irrigation schemes.” Chavan asserted that the Maharashtra government had taken steps to deal with the drought situation in the state and it was only seeking reimbursement from the Centre. “Non-availability of funds from the Centre has not held up any works. None of the schemes are delayed. We are only seeking reimbursement from the Centre,” he said.

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