Odisha got less drought assistance from Centre: SRC

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The Odisha government has received only Rs 276.54 crore as drought assistance from the Centre against its announcement of Rs 815 crore as aid for the 2015 drought in the state.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra said the state government had received a total of Rs 427.29 crore from the Centre for 2015 drought and 2013 Phailin cyclone, on March 31.

"Out of the sanctioned amount, Rs 150.75 crore was given as Phailin aid which was due to the state government and Rs 276.54 crore as drought assistance," Mohapatra said.

Though the Centre had announced a financial package of Rs 399.83 crore for cyclone Phailin in 2013, the state could so far get only Rs 297.75 crore and it still awaits to get Rs 102 crore as Phailin assistance, Mohapatra said.

Though the high-level committee headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had decided to sanction Rs 815 crore as drought assistance to Odisha, the state government later received a letter from the Centre saying it would deduct Rs 212 crore out of the announced amount, Mohapatra said.

"As per their (the Centre's) calculation, Rs 606 crore will be given to the state as drought aid," he said.

Optimistic of getting Rs 815 crore as announced by the high-level committee, Mohapatra said "I have written two letters demanding release of Rs 815 crore drought assistance as announced."

Mohapatra said if required, the Chief Minister would also write to the Centre asking for Rs 815 crore.

While the ruling BJD termed the less release of funds as drought assistance to the state as "unfortunate", the BJP said more money would be released at proper time.

Congress, however, blamed both the BJD and the BJP for less release of funds for tackling drought in the state.

Source TOI

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