Govt releases Rs 3,800 crore as drought relief for Tamil Nadu, Karnataka

TNN | Apr 2, 2017, 06.25 AM ISTNEW DELHI: The Centre released on Saturday over Rs 2,000 crore as assistance to Tamil Nadu to deal with losses due to drought and cyclonic storm Vardah last year. It also released Rs 1,782.44 crore to Karnataka for drought relief and advised both states to ensure that all assistance were mandatorily disbursed through the beneficiaries bank accounts.The total amount of Rs 2014.45 crore, which was released for Tamil Nadu on Friday, includes Rs 1748.28 crore for drought (Kharif), Rs 264.11 crore for Vardah and Rs 2.06 crore to deal with the problem of drinking water.The release follows a meeting of the high level committee, chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh, to clear the assistance. Tamil Nadu had, however, demanded Rs 39,565 crore for tackling severe drought in all its 32 districts due to failure of monsoon for two consecutive years. A memorandum to this effect was sent to the PMOin January. The then state chief minister O Panneerselvam had also raised the issue.The Centre had, thereafter, sent an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) to Tamil Nadu to assess the situation. These releases are over and above the releases made to states as devolution of 42% of central taxes as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. For 2016-17, a sum of Rs 6.08 lakh crore has been released to all states as devolution of central taxes, said the agriculture ministry.