Source: News Bharati English29 Sep 2016 12:44:49

New Delhi, September 29: Financial assistance worth Rs1, 269 crore to Maharashtra has been approved by the Centre for damaged crops due to drought on Wednesday. Home minister Rajnath Singh headed the high level committee and took this decision in Delhi at a meeting.
This year more than 29 thousand villages were drought affected; in addition to it 11 thousand more villages were made. After evaluation of drought affected villages, as a response to the plea made by Maharashtra to the Centre for assistance to these villages, this decision was taken.

Out of Rs 1,269 crore as approved by the committee, Rs 589.47 crore is the supplementary assistance for damage to kharif crops and Rs 679.54 crore for damage to rabi crops. This is the second relief package granted by the Centre in the past 10 months to tackle drought and acute water shortage prevalent in many parts of Maharashtra until August.

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However, the grant is far less than what was sought by the state in May. In December 2015, the central government had approved monetary relief worth Rs3, 049 crore to deal with drought. However, when the number of drought-affected villages hit 29,610 — 70% of the 40,559 villages in the state — chief minister Devendra Fadnavis sought financial assistance from the Centre after deliberations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

CM Fadnavis has expressed gratitude towards PM Modi and Rajnath singh with regards to this decision as it will prove to be a great help to farmers in drought affected villages. Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and senior officials of the Home, Finance and Agriculture ministry also attended the meeting.