Drought: Maha seeks 88K metric tonne food grains for APL people
Maharashtra Government has sought 88,000 metric tonne food grains from the Centre for Above Poverty Line (APL) families from drought-hit talukas.
Apart from food grains, the government has also suggested setting up a separate National Drought Mitigation Fund (NDMF) for sanctioning financial assistance which otherwise cannot be given under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
As per the existing drought manual, there are no specific schemes for mitigation of drought.
"The Planning Commission meeting to consider our demand is likely to be convened this week," Chief Secretary J K Banthia said today. Similarly, another demand of the state government is for energy subsidy for agriculture pumps.
"In states like Punjab and Haryana, diesel subsidy is given. In Maharashtra, agriculture pumps are electrical," he added. If this demand is accepted, the state government will benefit because farmers can pay the electricity bills at a later date saving disconnection.
"At present, the state government has to pay the bills of the defaulters," Banthia pointed out. The state government needs funds for completion of last-mile irrigation projects, supply of drinking water through tankers, strengthening and improving sources of drinking water, especially in towns, the chief secretary added.