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Karnataka govt to release Rs 2,000 as relief to drought-hit farmers

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Government announced on Thursday that it would release crop relief of Rs 2,000 in the first instalment for eligible farmers suffering from drought.

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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made this announcement at an emergency press conference. He stated that it is an emergency action by the state because the central government has not yet held a preliminary meeting to compensate the farmers of the state who are facing a severe drought.

“There is no response to the letters written to the Centre. Three ministers from the state visited Delhi, but did not get a positive response from the Centre,” Siddaramaiah stated.

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“Permission was sought to provide 150 man-days’ employment under the Employment Guarantee Scheme. The Centre has not yet given permission. We have declared 223 taluks of the state as drought-prone in three phases. Crop loss is in 48.19 lakh hectares,” he stated.

Siddaramaiah added, “We have written to the Centre to provide financial assistance of Rs. 18171.44 crore. It is enough if the Centre returns the share of our tax money. We first appealed to the Centre on September 21. A team from the Centre toured the state and conducted a drought survey and submitted a report.”

“We all met the central team to discuss and explain the situation. There is a drought situation in 12 states of the country. We have asked to release Rs.4,663 crore compensation for the crop loss from the Centre. We have also appealed to the Union Minister,” he stated.

He said that the Union Government had not conducted a single meeting to date.

“Despite requests to allot time for the visit, it was not given. I asked the three Ministers to visit Delhi and at least meet the officials. The Ministers went to Delhi and have explained to the officials,” Siddaramaiah stated.

“Since it is not possible to wait until the Centre releases the amount, the State Government has decided to release the first instalment,” he claimed.

“I have written a letter seeking time and saying that I will meet the Union Agriculture and Home Minister myself. Time has not been given to date,” he stated.

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