The High-Level Committee (HLC) on Drought on Thursday approved a central assistance of Rs. 1,304 crore to Maharashtra and Karnataka parts of which faced drought in the kharif cropping season last year.

“The High Level Committee (HLC) for central assistance to States affected by natural calamity today approved assistance of Rs. 526.06 crore to Karnataka and Rs. 778.09 crore to Maharashtra,” said an official statement.

Other than Karnataka and Maharashtra, parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat had been declared drought-hit.

Of the assistance provided to Maharashtra, an input subsidy of about Rs 297 crore has been given to agriculture and Rs. 159 crore to horticulture sector. The animal husbandry sector has been provided about Rs. 38 crore while rural water and sanitation sector has been given about Rs. 30 crore.

Likewise Karnataka has been extended an input subsidy of about Rs. 563 crore for agriculture, Rs. 91 crore for horticulture, Rs. 73 crore for animal husbandry and about Rs. 50 crore for water supply.

An Inter-Ministerial central team had visited the two states for an assessment.

The meeting chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, was attended by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.