PM asks CMs not to panic over drought crisis

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New Delhi, Aug 18: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, Aug 18 has asked the Chief Ministers not to panic over drought crisis.

"There is no need to panic as we have a better understanding of how to handle a crisis like the drought," the Prime Minister said at a special session on drought during a Chief Ministers meeting on internal security.

Prime Minister said, "We have faced problems like this before and now there is much greater elbow room to deal with this drought than in the past. There is adequate wheat and rice stocks in our godowns. We have also placed livelihood programmes like NREGA and RKVY."

Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee, in an official statement said, "Group of Ministers (GoM) will meet on a regular basis and that the ground reality was that the drought has set in."

According to a statement, the Centre asserted that the situation can be handled effectively, Chief Ministers sought additional funds to deal with the situation.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar asked all the Chief Ministers to start the relief operations in the drought-affected districts and to ensure that prices do not shoot up.

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