New Delhi: With the announcement of 50 percent subsidy on the diesel for irrigation of kharif crops, the Central government is gearing up to tackle the menace of drought prevalent in over 325 districts of the country.

The government’s main priority is to increase the supply of drinking water and fodder in the country. For this, the government announced to provide Rs 2000 crore.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Tuesday has taken decision in this regard. However, the EGoM could not take any decision on the electricity demands of rain-deficient states like Punjab and Haryana. The EGoM has approved Rs 1,440 crore for Water Management and Conservation Plan (WMCP). Under this, Karnataka will get Rs 195 crore, Maharashtra Rs 501 crore, Rajasthan Rs 424 crore and Gujarat Rs 320 crore. The burden on diesel subsidy will be shared equally by both Central and state governments.

Rs 453 crore has been approved under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana will get benefit from this.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said that all the states have been provided with adequate amount of seeds. Additional assistance of Rs 50 crore has also been announced for supply of fodder in the country. According to Meteorological Department, about 400 districts in the country are receiving below average rainfall.  The worst affected states are Punjab and Haryana.

(JPN/Bureau)

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