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Drought relief: Pawar sends Rs 501cr to Maharashtra
May 28, 2004 15:27 IST
Ahead of the September assembly elections in Maharashtra, the Centre on Friday announced an aid of Rs 501crore, including Rs 201 crore in cash, towards drought relief for the state.
Under the Central assistance, Maharashtra would receive 300,000 metric tonnes of foodgrain.
"The government will provide Rs 201 crore in cash and Rs 300 crore of foodgrains towards drought relief for Maharashtra," Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters in Delhi after Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Pawar was also present at the hour-long meeting.
The Centre would soon re-constitute the Central Committee to look into similar demands of other states, Pawar said indicating that a change in guidelines for releasing drought assistance is also on the cards. The aid, which he said was 'just a beginning', would be released with 'immediate effect'.
Pawar and Shinde, accompanied by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil and state Finance Minister Jayant Patil, met the prime minister. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Union Finance Minster P Chidambaram and Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan also attended the meeting.
Shinde, in November 2003, had requested central assistance worth Rs 1,712 crore towards drought relief, of which the previous government had released Rs 77.46 crore.
The Maharashtra chief minister on Friday requested the Centre to release the balance 1,635 crore and 600,000 tonnes of foodgrain.
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