Announcing an interim relief of Rs. 1,000 crore as advance Central assistance to Karnataka for relief and rehabilitation measures of the flood-affected people, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the Centre had seriously viewed the demand for waiver of farm loans and it would take a decision on the issue after going through the norms and procedures of the Reserve Bank of India.

After an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of the State along with Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, he told presspersons at Yermarus near Raichur that drought and floods had come together making the life of the people miserable. He had seen the devastation caused by floods and he was here to share the sorrow and grief of the people, he added.

The Prime Minister said there was no dearth of funds for taking up relief work. Announcing Rs. 1 lakh compensation from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to the kith and kin of the victims, Dr. Singh said the floods had claimed 220 lives in the State apart from destruction of standing crops.

A Central team would visit the State to assess the damage. He said the Centre would never discriminate against any State when it came to human tragedy.

Union Ministers M. Veerappa Moily, S.M. Krishna and M. Mallikarjun Kharge and Karnataka ministers V.S. Acharya, Shobha Karandlaje, G. Karunakar Reddy, C.M. Udasi and S. Suresh Kumar were present.

Krishna thanks Sonia

Later, Mr. Krishna thanked AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Singh for announcing interim relief. He told presspersons that he agreed with Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu that the Centre could have given much more as the damage was huge.

He said the Prime Minister had asked for a detailed report from the State government. He announced contribution of Rs. 1 crore to the flood-relief work from his MP’s Local Area Development Scheme.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said on Saturday that the State had appealed to the Centre to release an additional interim relief of Rs. 2,000 crore to speed up relief and rehabilitation work in flood-hit areas.

The Chief Minister told presspersons at Yermarus near Raichur that during the aerial survey with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh he had explained to him the situation in the flood-hit regions.

He said the State government had appealed to the Centre to release Rs. 10,000 crore to take up relief and rehabilitation work.

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