60 districts in MP, Raj and UP affected by drought in 2007: Pawar

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (UNI) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today told the Lok Sabha that during June 2007 to September 30 last year, the country received 936.9 mm of rainfall against the normal average of 892.2 mm, with a deviation of plus five per cent.

The Governments of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh declared drought in parts of the State mainly due to deficient rainfall, he said in the Question Hour. As a result 39 districts in MP, 12 districts in Rajasthan and 9 districts in UP delared drought.

He said it was primarily the responsibility of the State Government to take the necessary measures in the wake of natural calamities including drought. The Centre supplemented the efforts of the States with financial and logistic suport. Ready availability of funds existed with the States in the form of Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) to take such measures. CRF was contributed by the Centre and States concerned in the ratio of 3 : 1 . The Central share of CRF is normally released in two half yearly instalments.

In case the funds available in the CRF were not sufficient to tackle the situation, the State Government concerned was required to submit a memorandum for assistance from the national Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF), which was considered in accordance with a set procedure.

The Agriculture Minister said for the drought of 2007-08, the Government of Madhya Pradesh submitted a memorandum seeking assistance of Rs 1883.81 crores from the NCCF, which was considered in accordance with the procedure. This will now be considered by the High level Committee (HLC) for a decision on the quantum of assistance to the State for drought relief, from the NCCF.

Mr Pawar said no memorandum for assistance from the NCCF for drought relief had so far been received from the Government of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

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