The Maharashtra government has sought additional relief package of over Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre to tackle drought in the state, Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said on Saturday.
“The additional relief package of Rs 2,017 crore has been sought from the Centre, keeping in mind the drought and the Rabi crops,” he told reporters.
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“After we put forth our demand, I spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday and urged him to provide the necessary relief,” he said.
On May 12, the BJP-led Maharashtra government had declared drought in over 29,000 villages of the state, mostly in parched Marathwada and Vidarbha regions where the grim situation was earlier described as “drought-like”.
“Necessary relief has been given to farmers living in these areas in the form of restructuring of their loans, waiving of exam fees for students, 100 per cent subsidy in electricity and providing food grains to people living in drought affected areas,” the minister said.
“As farmers are facing financial crunch due to drought, the seeds for ensuing sowing season will be made available to them and we will make sure that there will be no increase in the rates of fertilisers,” Khadse said.
The minister said the state government has earmarked funds to set up 6,000 onion storage facilities and funds have been sanctioned to build shade nets for crops to minimise the impact of heavy rains.
Khadse said the Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) will be implemented in the state and Rs 2,000 crore has been sanctioned for the same.
“Damages to crops in post harvesting, cutting and harvesting, storm, unseasonal rains, flooding of fields, landslides and hailstorms have been included in the norms for granting compensation under the scheme,” he added.