Orissa asks Centre to release funds for rain-hit farmers soon

Bhubaneswar, Jan 19 (PTI) Orissa government todayasked the Centre to expedite release of funds for farmers hitby unseasonal rains in the state.

The state government informed this to Union Ministerof State for Agriculture K V Thomas who met Chief MinisterNaveen Patnaik this morning.

"Mr Thomas met me this morning and I repeated thestate''s demand (for release of funds) on unseasonal rain. Isaid they (Centre) should do it as quickly as possible,particulraly as they have given funds to Andhra Pradesh andMaharastra", Patnaik told reporters at the sideline of afunction.

Patnaik -- who had earlier met Prime Minister ManmohanSingh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and spoke to FinanceMinister Pranab Mukherjee in this regard -- also told Thomasthe Centre released funds for AP and Maharastra even withoutsending central team to access the situation.

Even as the central team had left the state since afortnight after accessing situation here, no assistance wasreleased for the state, Patnaik pointed out at the meeting.

Earlier, the state government had submitted amemorandum with the Centre seeking an assistance of about Rs2600 crore for the twin calamities like drought and unseasonalrains those struck the state in 2010.

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