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Karnataka seeks Rs 1,782.44 cr for 2016 kharif crop loss

New Delhi: Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda and Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa today called on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and demanded early release of Rs 1,782.44 crore as drought relief fund approved to the state for 2016 kharif crop loss.

On January 5, the Union Cabinet had approved Rs 1,782.44 crore from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) to the state.

“We met Jaitley and explained the difficulty the state is going through this year because of severe drought. We told him that despite the drought relief amount been approved in January, that amount has not been released to state,” Gowda told reporters after the meeting.

Jaitley immediately called up the senior Finance Ministry officials and enquired about the issue. It was found that the the relief amount could not be released due to lack of funds in the NDRF, he said.

“We have requested the Finance Minister to allocate funds from other resources as the state is facing drought even in the rabi season and the situation is very bad. The FM has assured early release of the amount,” he added.

The state ministers along with senior officers met Union Minister Rajnath Singh and sought release of relief funds for flood-hit parts of the state.

Yesterday, the state ministers had submitted a memorandum to the central government seeking a drought relief of Rs 3,310 crore for 2016 rabi crop loss.