'Before Centre released aid, state mobilised own funds'

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa (Photo/ B H Shivakumar)

The state government will mobilise additional resources alongside the Centre’s interim relief of Rs 1,200 crore to compensate farmers for their crop losses during the recent floods, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Sunday. 

The government is under tremendous pressure to compensate farmers before the start of sowing operations for the rabi season. By the time the Centre gave interim aid, the Yediyurappa administration had provided Rs 2,577.93 crore from its
coffers towards flood-relief work. “The Centre has released Rs 1,200 crore as an interim measure. By adding our funds to this, we’re thinking of compensating farmers for crop loss,” Yediyurappa told reporters. “After the legislature session, we will take a call on what to do and how. We will add more funds and compensate farmers as per norms,” he added. 

Rabi sowing

The government, according to sources, is looking to ensure that compensation reaches farmers, coinciding with the rabi sowing. The major rabi crops in the state include jowar, maize, wheat and gram. 

Initial estimates suggest Karnataka suffered crop losses across 8.87 lakh hectares worth Rs 15,000 crore. This includes agriculture, horticulture and sericulture crops, besides coffee. 

According to an official from the disaster management wing of the revenue department, the exact monetary value of the crop losses will be known in another two weeks. Data entry of crop losses started about a week back on Parihara, a direct benefit transfer scheme for farmers to get input subsidy. 

The Cabinet sub-committee on natural calamities headed by Revenue Minister R Ashoka will meet on October 9, to decide on the modalities to compensate farmers for crop loss. The sub-committee comprises  RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa, Health Minister B Sriramulu, Housing Minister V Somanna, Law Minister J C Madhuswamy, Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan and Women & Child Development Minister Shashikala Jolle. 

In August 2019, heavy floods affected 103 taluks across 22 districts in the state, killing more than 80 people and displacing nearly 7 lakh persons. 

State gave Rs 2,577.93 cr

Karnataka estimated the losses to be Rs 35,160.81 crore. It expected Rs 3,891.80 crore as per National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms, of which the Centre has released Rs 1,200 crore as interim relief.

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