In the month of February- March 2015many States like Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, and West Bengalwere hit by hailstorm followed by untimely excessive rainfall.
As State Government is empowered to undertake necessary relief measures in the wake of natural calamities like, drought, hailstorm, pest attack & cold wave/frost from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which is readily available with them, all State Governments have been requested on 19.03.2015to take immediate steps to address the notified calamities by utilizing the funds available under SDRF. They were also advised to submit memorandum as per extant procedure/norms, if additional financial assistance is required from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and in the mean time utilize contingency fund of the State, if SDRF is exhausted. So far memoranda have been received from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Inter Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) have been constituted for Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to visit the affected States to assess the ground situation and recommend financial assistance. As per the information available about SDRF (as on 25.03.2015), balance SDRF available with the State Government of Haryana is Rs.1791.06 crore. In the memorandum the Haryana Government has demanded Rs.1135.91 crore from NDRF. Since, the amount demanded by the State of Haryana is available with the Government under SDRF, a draft letter from Secretary (A&C) to Additional Chief Secretary is under submission requesting the Government to utilize the SDRF fund available with them.
Secretary(A&C) has written a letter dated 30.03.2015to Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance highlighting major difficulties faced by the farmers in repayment of crop loans taken by them and requested to issue directions to banks in this regard as well as consider whether the benefit could be consider for restructured loans. All affected States i.e.,Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, and West Bengal have been also requested vide letter dated 01.04.2015of Secretary (A&C) to take appropriate steps to provide relief to farmers under various programmes of Government of India and in case of shortfall in funds, submit memorandum seeking additional fund under NDRF.
Measures taken by DAC to mitigate the drought like condition in Kharif, 2014-15.
i. Implementation of Diesel Subsidy Scheme for protective irrigation of crops with an allocation of Rs.100 crore;
ii. Enhancement of ceiling on seed subsidy to partially recompense the farmer for the additional expenditure incurred in resowing and/or purchasing appropriate varieties of seeds;
iii. Implementation of drought mitigating interventions on perennial horticulture crops with an additional allocation of Rs.700 crore under Mission for Integrated Development of horticulture (MIDH);
iv. Implementation of Additional Fodder Development Programme (AFDP) as a sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) with an allocation of Rs.100 crore during 2014-15 for ensuring availability of fodder;
v. Waiver of duty on import of de-oiled soya extract, groundnut oil cake, sunflower oil cake, canola oil meal, mustard oil cake, rice bran and palm kernel cake to increase availability of feed ingredients.
In addition, States were advised to keep aside 10% of funds available under RKVY and other schemes for undertaking appropriate interventions to mitigate any situation arising out of deficient rainfall.
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