HDK meets Modi, seeks early release of drought funds

HDK meets Modi, seeks early release of drought funds

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought early release of Rs 2,064.30 crore from the Union government to provide compensation to drought-hit farmers in the ongoing rabi season in the state.

Kumaraswamy informed the prime minister that the state reeled under drought during kharif season as well, but the financial assistance sanctioned by the central government was inadequate. 

In addition to floods, Karnataka reels under severe drought during rabi (winter) season of the 2018-19 crop year too, he said.

“Consecutive drought and floods have brought farmers under distress and it is the time to rush to their aid,” Kumaraswamy told the prime minister.

The state government submitted a memorandum seeking Rs 2,064.30 crore drought relief funds for the ongoing rabi season as crop loss is estimated to be Rs 11,384.7 crore. The state has declared drought in 156 out of 176 taluks. 

In the meeting, Kumaraswamy said the state government has advanced Rs 1,351 crore towards the payment of pending wage and material bills in anticipation of the release of central funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. 

Kumaraswamy also requested the prime minister to take steps for the early release of funds to make further wage payments.