It is ‘misleading’ IMD categorised some districts as normal: Pawar

The Union government on Wednesday announced relief measures for the drought-hit areas, including an increase in the number of assured workdays under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to 150 from 100 days and reduction in the interest on crop loans to 7 per cent from 12 per cent during the current fiscal.

The State government on Monday announced a Rs 232-crore compensation package for small and marginal farmers who suffered crop losses due to drought.

A decision to this effect was taken at a Cabinet sub-committee meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa. On Saturday, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, after his tour of the drought-hit districts, had said that the government should be doing “more” to help the farmers in distress.

Four states have declared drought in over 390 talukas so far. Central teams will visit Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan to assess the situation, Parliament was informed on Friday.

The Central government has released a sum of Rs. 501 crore under the Integrated Watershed Management Scheme (IWMP) as part of the drought-mitigation measures in the afflicted zones of Maharashtra.

In a letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said that in keeping with the gravity of the drought being faced by the State owing to deficient rains till July, the Empowered Group of Ministers had approved to waive off the deduction of unspent balance from the first instalment of central assistance for 2012-13 under the IWMP.

Karnataka, that had sought Rs 11,600 crore assistance from the Centre for drought relief, is still waiting for the amount it asked.

Deputy Chief Minister K S Eswarappa said here in Mysore on Tuesday that the Centre has so far released Rs 700 crore. The Centre would be asked to release more funds. A team led by the chief minister would visit Delhi for the purpose. Three Central teams have so far visited Karnataka to study the drought situation.

With the monsoon not showing any signs of improvement, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday declared 123 talukas in the State as drought-hit.

The decision was taken here during a meeting of the Cabinet. The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, especially focused on the setting up of fodder camps in the affected villages. Officials said the State Relief and Rehabilitation Department identified the drought-hit areas according to norms stipulated in the Drought Prone Areas Programme.

JAIPUR: To deal with the drought-like situation in Rajasthan, the state government has demanded Rs 7,424 crore from the Centre as well 27 lakh metric tones of wheat. The memorandum presented before the Central government is interim and includes the relief work for only 26 districts. The call on the other seven will be taken after the Girdawari.

In the memorandum, the state has asked the Centre to provide Rs 2,500 crore under MNREGA.

Punjab will seek a package of Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre for the additional expenditure incurred by farmers on purchasing diesel and Punjab State Power Corporation limited on purchasing power t

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday said the State government has sought Rs. 11,489 crore from the Centre for drought relief measures.

Participating in a meet-the-press programme organised by the Press Club of Bangalore and the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild here on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said the assistance sought from the Centre was in the form of two separate memorandums: a sum of Rs. 7,672 crore for immediate relief measures and Rs. 3,817 crore for long-term measures.

152 Of 225 Talukas Affected, State To Seek . 18k Crore From Centre

Gandhinagar: A high-level cabinet sub-committee on Tuesday declared more than half of Gujarat – 152 talukas out of 225 – scarcity-hit.
The committee, headed by finance minister Vajubhai Vala, concluded that scarcity condition prevailed in all these talukas as they have received less than 150 mm rainfall. A government resolution (GR) declaring these talukas as scarcity-hit is being prepared.Relief work for the affected population will begin in these talukas, where cheaper fodder and agricultural subsidies will be provided.