Drought relief likely from Indian diaspora in UShttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/drought-relief-likely-from-indian-diaspora-in-us/

Drought relief likely from Indian diaspora in US

NRIs professionals to set up Maharashtra Development Forum, to meet once a month to raise fund for farmer welfare work

After raising taxes on a range of “luxury” items, the Maharashtra government has decided to approach the Indian diaspora in the United States for financial support towards drought relief work.

Maharashtra, which is facing a severe drought, has a major debt burden. Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil, who visited New York in the last week of September, said Wednesday he had extended the request to the Indian diaspora on behalf of the state government.

“I had the opportunity to interact with top professionals of Indian origin during my visit. I requested them for voluntary support to financially help widows and children of farmers who had ended their lives in the state. They were more than willing to contribute,” Patil said. Following the discussion, Patil said NRI professionals had decided to set up a Maharashtra Development Forum that would meet once a month to discuss means to raise a corpus fund for farmer welfare work.

Patil said, “They (the NRIs) expressed some concerns regarding proper utilisation of the funds and recounted some previous experiences. We (the government) assured that this would be put to use effectively and for the designated purpose of farmer welfare.”

The Maharashtra cabinet recently raised taxes on petrol, diesel, liquor, cigarettes, gold and diamond jewellery to raise resources.