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Singh wipes farmers tears; 400 cr relief fund

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PM Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Dec 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today announced Rs 400 crore central assistance to Maharashtra which suffered extensive damage to crops on account of unprecedented and unseasonal rains.

Singh announced the relief after an all party delegation led by Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan called on him and sought a special relief package for farmers.

The prime minister assured the delegation that the interests of farmers were uppermost and that all necessary steps would be taken by the Center to assist the state government in helping the farmers.

"Requirement of further assistance will be considered in the light of the assessment made by an inter-ministerial central team, after visiting the state," he said.

The delegation which comprised, MPs from the state, Chavan's ministerial colleagues, BJP MP Gopinath Munde, Shiv Sena MP Anant Geete. Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was also present.

Singh also assured the delegation that central ministries will be asked to take necessary action expeditiously on the issues raised by the delegation.

Chavan handed over to the prime minister a report of the state government on assessment of agricultural damages to farmers across the state due to unseasonal rains.

"We asked the prime minister to adopt the report of the state government and announce a special package for the state," Geete told reporters.

“Kharif crop over a million hectares in the state has been damaged due to unseasonal rains in Nov and Dec," state government officials said.

PTI

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