Chandigarh: The Centre on Sunday rejected Punjab`s charge that it was "deliberately denying" the state drought package in the wake of deficient monsoon rains.
"There is no such thing. There is no truth in this," Union rural development minister, Jairam Ramesh told a news agency in Mohali on the sidelines of a function.
Ramesh also denied that Centre was apathetic towards genuine demands raised by Punjab from time to time.
"I don`t think it is fair (on Punjab`s part) to say this," he said.
The Union Minister admitted that though there was shortfall of rains in Punjab this year, "it was not as bad as it was in the beginning (June-July period)."
Punjab received bulk rains in August and from June 1 to September 26, Punjab had received 266 mm of rains as against normal of 488.2, a deficiency of 46 percent, according to Chandigarh`s Meteorological Department.
Speaking at a public meeting in Bathinda earlier this week, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had alleged the "deliberate" denial of drought package to Punjab was a testimony towards Centre`s step motherly treatment to the state, saying other states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Odisha had been allowed this package.
"Punjab has been deliberately kept out on the pretext that the state government had not requested the Centre to send a special team to assess the damage," Badal had said.
Badal had also said that Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar accompanied by Jairam Ramesh had recently held detailed parleys with the senior officers of the Punjab government here over the deficient rains issue.
Punjab has demanded a special financial package of Rs 5,112 crore to bail out the beleaguered farmers as well as state government for incurring extra expenditure to save paddy "in the wake of drought like conditions across the state."