New Delhi: The Central Government is concerned at prevailing drought situation in the States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. After the receipt of detailed memoranda from these States, Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) were deputed to visit the drought affected areas for the spot assessment of the calamity. The High Level Committee (HLC) had recommended the quantum of assistance to the States based on the extant norms of assistance and the report of the IMCT.
Based on the approval of the High Level Committee (HLC), the Central Government has sanctioned Rs.1793.63 crore to State of Tamil Nadu and Rs.1,782.44 crore to State of Karnataka for drought relief from NDRF.
Based on the above sanctions, a sum of Rs.1447.99 crore has been released to the State of Tamil Nadu by the Central Government from NDRF after adjusting Rs.345.64 crore available with the State as balance in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
For State of Karnataka, after adjusting Rs.96.92 crore available with the State as balance in the SDRF and earlier release of Rs.450 crore by the Central Government, sum of Rs.1,235.52 crore has been released from NDRF.
The HLC has also advised the State Governments to take utmost care and ensure that all the individual beneficiary-oriented assistance are mandatorily disbursed through the bank account of the beneficiaries.
Further, the Central Government has released Rs.264.11 crore from NDRF for providing the Central assistance to the State of Tamil Nadu for the cyclonic storm ‘Vardha’ during December, 2016. This amount has been approved by the HLC on the basis of the report of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team sent by the Central Government to assess the damage.
These releases are over and above the releases made to States as devolution of 42% of Central Taxes as per the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission. For the year 2016-17, a sum of Rs.6.08 lakh crore has been released to all States as devolution of Central Taxes. Tamil Nadu has received Rs.24,538 crore and Karnataka has received Rs.28,750 crore under devolution formula during 2016-17.
During 2016-17, the Central Government has also provided Rs.48,869 crore to all the States as grant for Rural and Urban Local Bodies to primarily meet the requirement of basic necessities for people living in these areas.
For the benefit of farmers, Rs.13,240 crore has been provided under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana (PMFBY) in 2016-17.
Also, Rs.2,45,435 crore has been provided under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) for transfer to the States from the Central Government during 2016-17. This includes Rs.47,499 crore for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) which is used for employment generation and water conservation works.
In view of onset of the summer season, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has instructed that in the next three months, all the States should focus on water conservation related works by utilizing the funds available under various Schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) and MGNREGS etc.