State demands overhaul of revised drought manual

The State Government has opposed the revised Manual for Drought Management 2016 brought out by the centre, which will be effective in the ongoing Kharif season. It has demanded its withdrawal on the grounds that it will severely reduce the aid to the drought affected taluks.

On July 24, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that “stringent parameters/eligibility conditions will make it difficult for the state government to declare taluks with significant crop loss severely drought affected.” He added that the new guidelines “will drastically reduce the central assistance in future. This will increase hardship of the farmers.”

The government has opposed changes in parameters for drought assessment. The new manual for drought management limits centre’s scope to offer financial assistance to states in the eventuality of drought.

Unlike the 2009 manual for drought management, which was a mere guideline and not mandatory for the states to follow, the “moderate” drought category has been deleted in the new manual. It means drought-hit areas will now be categorised as “normal” and “severe”. Only in case of “severe” drought, a state would be eligible for central assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).

Mr. Siddaramaiah said “most of the genuinely affected small and marginal farmers will not be able to avail of input subsidy for crop loss and it will go against the grain of the scheme.”

The Cabinet has discussed the new manual of the centre. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra said new conditions included in the norms would make it more difficult for the states to prove “severe” drought and get relief from the centre as the yardstick to measure severity of drought has been made stricter.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 2:00:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/state-demands-overhaul-of-revised-drought-manual/article19364635.ece

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