Jharkhand govt demands Rs 9,682-cr package for drought-hit blocks from Centre


Ranchi, The Jharkhand government demanded a financial package of Rs 9,682 crore from the Centre for drought-hit blocks in the state, a minister said on Saturday. The JMM-led government had on October 29 declared 226 of the 260 blocks of the state as drought-affected and decided to provide a cash relief of Rs 3,500 to each affected farmer family under the chief minister’s drought relief scheme.

“The state government has submitted the memorandum of finance to the Centre for assistance. We have demanded a package of Rs 9,682 crore,” state Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh said during a review meeting with deputy commissioners and his department’s officers of all districts through a video conference.

The Centre will review the state’s proposal and send a team to Jharkhand to assess the situation, an official said.

The minister also stated that the compulsory requirement of a land possession certificate to avail of benefits of the drought relief scheme will be removed.
“Every farmer whose name is in the ration card data will be eligible to get the benefit of the scheme,” he said.

Now, farmers need not to pay a fee of Rs 40 at common service centres (CSC) or ‘Pragya Kendras’ to apply for the drought relief scheme, he said.

Overall monsoon rain deficit in Jharkhand was 20 per cent till September 30, and the situation was severe in the first two months of the session, which was crucial for Kharif sowing, the official said.

In the first two months of monsoon this year, the state’s overall rainfall deficit was at 49 per cent, he said.

Compared to the normal level of 508.2mm, Jharkhand had received 258.7mm of rainfall from June 1 to July 31, which was the “highest shortfall” since 2014, the Meteorological Centre here said.

According to the state agriculture department, the overall sowing of Kharif crops was at 24.64 per cent till July 31 this year.

Till August 15, the state’s sowing coverage recorded at 37.18 per cent, which was at 82.07 per cent in the previous Kharif season, the official said.

As per the Centre’s Drought Manual 2016, a state could notify drought following three parameters- rainfall, impact indicators such as crop, remote sensing, soil moisture and hydrology and ground-level assessment, he added.


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