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Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis clears ₹5,380 cr for farmers’ relief

New beginning: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis arriving at Mantralaya to take charge.

New beginning: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis arriving at Mantralaya to take charge.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Over 48-hours after he was sworn in under controversial circumstances, Maharahstra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis officially took charge on Monday.

In one of his first major decisions, Mr Fadnavis cleared ₹5,380 crore from the Maharashtra Contingency Fund as relief for farmers affected by the unseasonal rains. Nearly one crore farmers have been affected by crop damage over 87 lakh hectare area in the past few months in Vidarbha and Marathwada.

At the last cabinet meeting he chaired before demitting office in his previous term, Mr Fadnavis had approved ₹10,000 cr as a farmers’ relief package. However, the amount was never formalised since the term of the previous government had come to an end soon after.

Upon reaching office at 11.00 a.m. after meeting Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, the Chief Minister’s first signature of the new tenure was on a Chief Minister’s Relief Fund cheque to Dadar-resident Kusum Vengurlekar for an amount of ₹1.20 lakh for medical relief.

“She is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment, the money for which was pending for a long time,” a senior official said.

Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) Ajit Pawar however, did not take charge of his office. “There is an official requirement for the CM and DCM to take charge once they have been sworn in,” said a senior secretary in the government.

Later in the day, the Chief Minister held a meeting of senior officials to discuss the proposed ‘Climate Resilience Improvement and flood and drought Management Program’ with representatives of the World Bank.

Mr Fadnavis directed officials to place the proposal in this regard for approval of the Cabinet. As per the proposal the World Bank would spend ₹3,500 crore on the project out of which ₹350 crore would be for technical assistance.

“This program includes diversion of flood water to drought prone areas maintaining the environmental balance. The CM also discussed a SmartVillage project for 20 lakh farmers in 10,000 villages aimed at providing better market opportunities to farmers by connecting them to corporates,” said the senior secretary.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 12:47:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/maharashtra-cm-devendra-fadnavis-clears-5380-cr-for-farmers-relief/article30079651.ece

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