'Centre must not discriminate while giving aid'

Centre must not discriminate between states while giving financial aid for natural calamities: Ajit Pawar

Vijay Wadettiwar had claimed that the Centre had sanctioned only Rs 1,100 cr of the Rs 7,700 cr aid demanded by the state

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Credit: PTI Photo

In a significant statement, Maharashtra deputy chief minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar urged the Centre not to discriminate between states while providing assistance in case of natural calamities.

The statement assumes political importance in wake of the fact that Pawar, the state’s finance and planning minister, being made the convenor of a ministerial panel on GST system reforms by the Centre.

Pawar’s statement on Thursday came in the backdrop of the devasting floods in Marathwada and Vidarbha which were triggered by Cyclone Gulab. 

Maharashtra relief and rehabilitation minister and senior Congressman Vijay Wadettiwar on Wednesday had stated that the Centre had sanctioned only Rs 1,100 crore of the Rs 7,700 crore aid demanded by the state government to deal with damages caused by various natural calamities this year.

Also Read | 436 lives lost so far in Maharashtra this monsoon

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole had also accused the Centre of indulging in “favouritism” and not providing necessary help to the state, which faced a series of natural calamities.

Between May and September this year, the coastal state faced two cyclones — Tauktae and Gulab — besides mega-floods in which over 500 people have lost their lives so far.

In 2020, it bore the brunt of Cyclone Nisarga. 

“The Central government should not discriminate between (different) states when it comes to providing financial assistance needed to help people hit by natural calamities. My (cabinet) colleague Vijay Wadettiwar had stated a day ago that damages that Maharashtra suffered are to the tune of Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 crore…a large area is affected,” said Pawar.

“All states are in India…all states are working….we must not discriminate among the states,” he said. 

Pawar also said that the survey of flood-affected areas is being done and drones could also be deployed for the same.

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