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Rs 7,000-cr central package for tsunami-hit states: Pawar

January 18, 2005 21:32 IST

The Centre will on Wednesday announce a Rs 7,000-crore financial package for
States affected by the December 26, 2004, tsunami, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday.

A separate package will be announced for the modernisation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, he told reporters in Mumbai, on the sidelines of the seventh convocation of the Central Institute of Fisheries Education.

He said Rs 4,800 crore would be given to Tamil Nadu, while the rest of the financial package will be given to the other states.

Pawar said since 80 per cent of the tsunami-affected people belonged to the fishing community, the government would also offer soft loans to fisher folks to enable them acquire modern boats and fishing nets.

The loans will carry an interest rate of 7 per cent, of which two per cent will be borne by the Union government, he said. The borrowers will not have to pay any instalment for one-and-a-half years. Thereafter, they can clear the loan in seven instalments, Pawar added.

Pawar said the Centre would rebuild Andaman and Nicobar islands with a modern telecommunication system.

The government had plans to instal tsunami warning system in all the major coastal towns and in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, he added.

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