Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced that the Centre has sanctioned a Rs 2,000 crore relief package for the state's farmers who were hit by last year's drought.
A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the high-level committee (HLC) of National Disaster Management, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
"The HLC today sanctioned Rs 2,000 crores for year 2014 under National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for drought affected areas of Maharashtra," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said in a statement.
The approved amount is four times higher than Rs 500 crores sanctioned as relief for 2013 drought, he added.
Writing on Twitter, Fadnavis expressed gratitude to the central government as well as Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh for the relief package.
He described the relief as the biggest in state's history.
Many thanks to GoI & Hon UnionMinister @RadhamohanBJP ji for ₹2000crore relief package to farmers,the biggest ever in Maharashtra's history!
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) March 24, 2015
Farmers in the state have been hit by the double whammy of drought and unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms.
As per reports, standing crop in more than 75,000 hectares of land was destroyed due to the spate of unseasonal rains.
Farmer suicides in the state have risen by over 40% in the last seven months due to the impact of these twin calamities.
In Marathwada, the region worst hit by the drought, farmer suicides have risen by 85%.