Centre approves drought relief fund of Rs 5,083 cr for Maharashtra and MP

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday approved a relief package of Rs 5,083 crore for Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, which declared drought in 48 districts due to deficit monsoon rainfall this year.

Maharashtra will get an assistance of Rs 3,050 crore, while Madhya Pradesh will get Rs 2,033 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).

A decision in this regard was taken in the meeting of the high-level committee (HLC) headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh held here today. The panel takes calls on central relief to states hit by drought, landslides and floods. 

"The HLC approved the assistance from the NDRF in respect of Madhya Pradesh to the tune of Rs 2,033 crore and Rs 3,050 crore for Maharashtra," an official statement said.

The panel examined the proposals based on the report of the central team, which had visited the two affected states by severe drought, it added.

Total 10 states including Uttar Pradesh and Odisha have declared drought in more than 280 districts in the country this year. The Centre has already approved a relief package of Rs 1,540 crore for Karnataka and Rs 1,275 crore for Chhattisgarh.

"The central teams have visited other drought-hit states and are in the process of submitting the reports. HLC will take a decision on those proposals in the next meeting," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said after the meeting. 

Ten states are gripped by drought because of 14 per cent deficit in southwest monsoon this year. Last year too, rainfall deficit was 12 per cent. Deficits were experienced even as there were floods in some other parts of the country. 

Besides Agriculture Minister, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and senior officers of the Ministries of Home, Finance and Agriculture attended the meeting.

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