Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday and requested for Rs 11,669.68 crore in financial assistance to combat the prevailing drought in the state.
Notably, the state has witnessed an unprecedented dry spell during the last decade, with 2003-04 being the only year to record average rainfall.
Chouhan said that during the year 2007-08 he had met then Union Agriculture Minister and Home Minister and requested them to provide immediate financial assistance of Rs 1548 crore and medium and long-term financial assistance of Rs 24,244 crore to meet the severe drought in the state.
The Samra Committee of the Union Government had recommended central assistance of Rs 4000 crore for the state. However, on behalf of the Central Government, financial assistance of even a single rupee was not made available under the NCCF.
Despite the ignominy, the State Government made available additional amount of Rs 500 crore for the Natural Calamity Relief Fund in the last two years.
Highlighting the plight of farmers, Chouhan sought a change in drought relief norms and advocated that relief eligibility should be brought down from the current 50 per cent crop loss to 25 per cent loss in yield.