India - Karnataka Minister hopes for early release of funds by Centre for drought relief

23.04.2024 78 views

On Karnataka State's plea in the Supreme Court seeking financial assistance for drought relief, Karnataka minister Krishna Byre Gowda said that the Government of India has agreed to take a decision within this week.

"We are hoping that not only a decision will be made but funds will also be released," he said.

Hailing the Supreme Court's statement about the issue, he said, "The honourable SC bench also commented that it is not good for the Union where the States have to come to the Apex Court for such issues that are mandatory and routine and age-old practices."

Notably, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that something will happen before next Monday (April 29) on the matter relating to Karnataka State's plea seeking financial assistance for drought relief. Supreme Court adjourned the hearing till April 29.

Earlier, after strictly adhering to the procedure outlined in the Manual for Drought Management-2020, Karnataka notified 223 out of 236 taluks as drought-affected. Cumulatively for the Kharif 2023 season, the agriculture and horticulture crop loss have been reported in more than 48 lakh hectares with the estimated loss (cost of cultivation) of Rs.35,162 crore, the plea further said.

The State Government has sought Rs 18,171.44 crore under National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), through three Drought Relief Memorandums submitted in September-November 2023 ie, Rs.4663.12 crore towards crop loss input subsidy, Rs. 12577.9 crore towards gratuitous relief to families whose livelihood has been seriously affected due to drought, Rs.566.78 crore for addressing a shortage of drinking water relief then and Rs.363.68 crore towards cattle care. Crops have failed, reduced water availability has affected domestic, agricultural, and industrial-hydel energy water supply, it added.

"The total estimated loss due to crop damage in the State is Rs. 35, 162.05 Crore and the assistance sought from the Government of India under NDRF is Rs. 18,171.44 Crore. In terms of the Disaster Management Act, of 2005, the Union of India is under obligation to render financial assistance to the State Governments.

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