There are indications that union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar might be preparing a Rs 1,000 crore drought relief package for the state government of Maharashtra.
The package will be under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana of the union agriculture ministry and will help the state government assist farmers facing the drought like situation. The funds are to be used for fodder development, repairs of small drams and providing drinking water in remote areas in the state.
The state government had asked for a total of Rs 14,000 crore for seven districts that are severely affected by the drought this year. Pawar indicated that the state government can make a proposal to the union government to access the package under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and the union government will release the entire amount immediately for the state.
“The weather reports and experts' advice about the possibility of rainfall were not very satisfactory. There may not be very good rainfall in the offing. Compared to Maharashtra, the situation in Karnataka and Gujarat is worse,” he said.
The monsoon rains remained be 21-22 percent below average from June 1 till the whole planting month of July. Experts say that the rains are not likely to increase drastically to prevent a drought like situation. It is a possibility that the ministers meeting next week over the situation might declare a drought and it will propel the government to offer additional supported to the those affected, mostly in the agriculture sector.