TNN | Feb 16, 2016, 05.50 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday approved relief assistance of over Rs 4,000 crore for seven drought-affected states from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
The maximum Rs 1,737.65 crore will be released to Tamil Nadu, followed by Rs 1,193.41 crore to Rajasthan, Rs 336.94 crore to Jharkhand, Rs 332.57 crore to Assam, Rs 280.19 crore to Andhra Pradesh, Rs 170.19 crore to Himachal Pradesh and Rs 16.02 crore to Nagaland. These seven states are part of the 18 affected by drought due to deficit monsoon this year. The other affected states include Maharashtra, MP, UP, Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.
The decision to release central assistance to these states was taken in a meeting of the high-level committee (HLC), chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh. Finance minister Arun Jaitley and senior officers of the ministries of home, finance and agriculture also attended the meeting.
The decision was taken after examining the proposals based on the report of the central team which visited the states affected by severe drought.
The HLC, so far, has approved over Rs 15,000 crore for drought-affected states. It had earlier approved central assistance for Maharashtra (Rs 3,050 crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 2,033 crore), UP (Rs 1,304.52 crore), Odisha (Rs 815 crore), Karnataka (Rs 1,540 crore) and Chhattisgarh (Rs 1,672 crore). Actual relief will, however, depend on how the states disburse these amounts among the affected families.
The amount approved for respective states will be given from the NDRF which is meant to provide assistance to states during natural disasters including drought and floods.
This is the second consecutive year when the country faced drought situation. Though the Kharif sown area this year was higher than last year, deficit rainfall will affect the overall output. The situation may further lead to farm distress if the states cannot cope with the deficit during the ongoing Rabi sowing season.