The Centre will provide an assistance of Rs. 352 crore to farmers for replanting horticulture crops that were hit by untimely rain and hailstorm earlier this month in parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

The fund release was sanctioned by an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) that met here on Monday. The assistance is part of the ongoing schemes under the National Horticulture Mission. The government has also decided to release Rs. 92 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund to Karnataka for providing relief to farmers whose rabi crop has been hit by rain. This was decided at a meeting of the high-level committee headed by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

The Karnataka government had given a memorandum seeking Central assistance. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde attended both meetings.

Last week, the EGoM had cleared a financial assistance of Rs. 1,351 crore to Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for damage to horticulture crop and standing rabi crops, including wheat, pulses and oilseeds.

Central teams had visited Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for spot assessment of the damage caused by unseasonal rain and hail in the two States.

The Agriculture Ministry had taken the Election Commission’s advice on release of funds to the affected States, sources said.

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