Chavan asks PM for national fund for drought relief (Lead)

August 26th, 2012 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday to demand setting up of a national fund for mitigation of drought to provide faster assistance to states affected by the natural calamity.

The chief minister met the prime minister along with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

Maharashtra sought the creation of the national fund as the guidelines under the National Disaster Response Fund did not provide for expeditious flow of funds in calamities like drought which occurred over a period of time, a state government official said.

He said the state government would also ask other states to press the central government for creation of the fund.

The official said a follow-up meeting was expected between different government agencies over the next few days to work out modalities of the drought relief fund.

Maharashtra is facing drought in some parts of the state.

The official said the state government had sought central assistance of Rs.3,572 crore for tackling the drought in 123 talukas.

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