As 10 states are battling drought, the Centre today directed its departments to release funds under various schemes for improving supply of fodder and drinking water, and also provide more work days under MNREGA.
After reviewing the drought situation in meetings of Committee of Secretaries (CoS) and later with state chief secretaries here today, Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha directed the central departments to take measures for giving relief to farmers and people suffering due to drought.
In total, 10 states, including Maharasthra and Karnataka, have declared drought in their parts. More than Rs 10,000 crore central assistance has been given to these states to tide over the situation.
The Agriculture Ministry has been asked to “make immediate allocation of funds to state governments under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for procurement of fodder,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a release.
Also, the Rural Development Ministry has been asked to ensure that the drought-hit states give wage employment to people over and above the stipulated 100 days, and release funds timely to the states. The Ministry has already liquidated its liabilities accrued on the issue of wage payments to states.
Sinha said the state governments should also approach the Centre immediately for availing financial assistance under the National Life Stock Mission implemented by Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries. A detailed advisory will be issued on measures for increasing availability of fodder to mitigate the effects of drought, he added.
That apart, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has been asked to release funds for rural drinking water supply to obviate problems faced by state governments. Sinha also said water supply being provided through rail and water tankers to affected areas should be maintained.