Drought relief funds: Pawar asks K’taka to rework its memoranda
Bangalore: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday asked Karnataka Government to rework its memorandum seeking Central funds for drought relief and assured to consider its demands in the EGoM meeting scheduled next week.
Pawar, who heads the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on drought, held discussions with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and his senior cabinet colleagues to discuss immediate measures to mitigate drought.
EGoM member and Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh also was present at the meeting.
Shettar said the state government had submitted two memoranda to the Centre. In the first memorandum submitted on November 21 last year, a relief of Rs 2,605.99 crore was sought, he said.
However, the Centre had approved only Rs 186.68 crore, Shettar said, adding, out of which only Rs 70.23 crore has been released.
In the second memorandum, submitted on May 5 this year, the Centre was requested to sanction Rs 5,864.25 crore towards drought relief measures, Shettar said.
As per the letter dated June 28, 2012, Shettar said the Centre had released Rs 282.35 crore. "According to newspaper reports, the Centre has approved a financial package of Rs 1,931 crore, of which the state will get Rs 224 crore," he said.
The state has spent Rs 2,150.82 crore towards drought relief works, Shettar said and added that under MGNREGS, in 2010-11 alone the state had spent Rs 2,158.31 crore as against Rs 1,923.92 crore released by the Centre.
"In addition to this, we took a landmark decision of waiving the crop loans upto Rs 25,000 availed by farmers from August 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, which will burden the state exchequer to the tune of over Rs 3,500 crore," he said.