Bangalore: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday asked the Karnataka government to rework its proposal seeking Central funds for drought relief and said the state's demand would be considered in the EGoM meeting scheduled next week.

Pawar, who heads the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on drought, held discussions with Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and his senior Cabinet colleagues to discuss immediate measures to mitigate the impact of drought.

EGoM member and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh also was present at the meeting.

Shettar said the state government had submitted two memoranda to the Centre. In the first memorandum submitted on November 21 last year, a relief of Rs 2,605.99 crore was sought, he said.

However, the Centre had approved only Rs 186.68 crore, of which only Rs 70.23 crore has been released, he added.

In the second memorandum, submitted on May 5 this year, the Centre was requested to sanction Rs 5,864.25 crore towards drought relief measures, Shettar said.
 As per the letter dated June 28, 2012, Shettar said the Centre had released Rs 282.35 crore.

The state has spent Rs 2,150.82 crore towards drought relief works, he said, adding in 2010-11 alone the state had spent Rs 2,158.31 crore under MGNREGS against Rs 1,923.92 crore released by the Centre.

"In addition to this, we took a landmark decision of waiving the crop loans upto Rs 25,000 availed by farmers from August 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, which will burden the state exchequer to the tune of over Rs 3,500 crore," he said.

(Agencies)

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