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NEW DELHI: The government yesterday offered millions of dollars to states hit by drought or floods, marking half the funds for a western zone were millions face their worst water shortage since 1972.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said a federal ministerial panel which he headed agreed to dole out nearly Rs29bn ($532m) to seven states which last year faced drought, flooding or other natural disasters. “We have approved the relief package, which is the highest in recent years,” Pawar said and added the panel agreed to hand out Rs12bn to Maharashtra.
He also promised additional help to the parched region, where suicide by farmers is also rampant. Millions in 10,000 parched villages in the western state were affected by the 2012 drought, officials reports say.
Gujarat and Kerala states would also get drought relief, PTI said and added cash would be doled out also to Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarkhand to tackle disruptions from floods, landslides or excessive rains.