The Haryana Government has sought special financial assistance of Rs. 3,168.75 crore from the Centre to mitigate the drought-like conditions in the State, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said on Sunday.
Stating that a memorandum had been submitted, he added that the Centre had also been asked to announce bonus and Minimum Support Price (MSP) in advance for both paddy and bajra.
Mr. Hooda said that Haryana was most adversely affected due to weak and erratic monsoon. Although, the State Government had not formally declared any part as drought affected, drought-like conditions were prevailing in 13 out of 21 districts including Ambala, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Fatehabad, Gurgaon, Mewat, Hisar, Sirsa, Panipat, Rohtak, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Panchkula.
Due to scanty and erratic rainfall, Kharif crops had been sown in only 26.57 lakh hectares as against 28.92 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year, the memorandum said.
The problem had been compounded due to low availability of irrigation water in major reservoirs.
Chief Secretary Dharam Vir said the special assistance had been necessitated to provide for additional power purchase, additional cost incurred on diesel, seed for the unsown area, bonus on MSP, lining of water courses, construction of water channels for village ponds or boring of tubewells, medicines and fodder for the cattle and so on.
The state government, on its own, might not be able to sustain the burden of liability incurred on account of power purchase agreement and other relief measures given to the farmers to mitigate the effects of drought-like conditions.
He further added that without these special measures, the Kharif crops would have withered away and large tract of land in the State would have remained barren and unsown. These measures had advanced the national cause for maintaining agriculture.