Centre releases over Rs 1,700 crore aid for drought-hit Tamil Nadu farmers

The Tamil Nadu government had submitted a memorandum seeking central assistance in the wake of drought and cyclonic storm 'Vardha' in the state.

Centre today released Rs 2,014.45 crore financial assistance to Tamil Nadu against the loss caused by drought and cyclonic storm. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had chaired a High Level Committee (HLC) meeting on March 23 to discuss the issue of assistance.

The aid, released on Friday, includes Rs 1,748.28 crore for drought (Kharif), Rs 264.11 crore for cyclonic storm 'Vardha' and Rs 2.06 crore under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, according to a release.

The Tamil Nadu government had submitted a memorandum seeking central assistance in the wake of drought and cyclonic storm 'Vardha' in the state.

CENTRE SENT TEAM TO TAMIL NADU TO ASSESS SITUATION

The central government had sent an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) to Tamil Nadu to assess the situation.

On the recommendations of IMCT and the Sub-Committee of the National Executive Committee, the HLC had approved the financial assistance.

Government has so far been apathetic to the cause of Tamil Nadu farmers, who have been holding a skull protest at Jantar Mantar. The skulls. they say, are of their fellow farmers who have committed suicides in the wake of the Cauvery basin's worst drought in the last 150 years.

Meanwhile, the Centre also sanctioned funds for another drought-hit state Karnataka.

Rs 1235 CRORE RELEASED FOR DROUGHT-HIT KARNATAKA

A High Level Committee meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh had approved sanctioning of Rs 1,782.44 crore to Karnataka from NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), but the Centre has released Rs 1,235.52 crore after adjusting Rs 96.92 crore available with the state as balance in the SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) and earlier release of Rs 450 crore by the central government.

The two states have been asked to disburse relief funds directly to the bank account of beneficiaries.

As per the official statement, the relief fund released to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are over and above the amount allocated to them as devolution of 42 per cent of central taxes as per the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission.

(WITH INPUTS FROM IANS, PTI)

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