The government has also relaxed norms under MGNREGA to provide additional employment of 50 days per household over and above the 100 days in areas affected by natural calamities during 2015-16, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
"During 2015-16 and 2016-17 (so far), Rs 18,715.01 crore and Rs 9,367.19 crore have been released, respectively, to the drought-hit states under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)," Singh said.
The minister added that the state government is primarily responsible for taking necessary relief measures in the event of natural calamities.
Funds are available with the state government in the form of state disaster response fund (SDRF) and additional financial assistance is considered from the national disaster response fund (NDRF) for natural calamities of severe nature, Singh said.
The government has released in advance the first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17 amounting Rs 2,551.9 crore to the drought-affected states. Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan are reeling under drought.