Karnataka may have to wait for new central government, for drought-relief package

Karnataka, which is reeling under severe drought, may have to wait till a new government comes to power at the centre, in order to get approval for relief package, according to sources

The Karnataka government, in its memorandum to the centre, has sought a financial assistance of Rs 2,064 crores, to provide relief to farmers hit by drought during the rabi season. While the model code of conduct does not bar the central government from holding a High Level Committee (HLC) meet, it however, looks like the meeting will be held only when a new government is in place, sources said.

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Already, a central team has assessed the extent of damage caused to the 2019 rabi crops, due to drought in the state and submitted a detailed report to the Union Agriculture Ministry. “A central team has submitted a report. The High Level Committee (HLC) under the Home Ministry has to take a decision on it,” sources added.

Karnataka has declared drought in 156 taluks, in 30 districts, of which, 107 taluks are facing severe drought, while 49 taluks have moderate drought. About 20.40 lakh hectares of farm land have been affected due to the drought in the state, of which, crop loss is estimated in 19.46 lakh hectares, as per the state government. The state had also faced drought during the kharif season of 2018-19 crop year (July-June).