No delay in release of funds: PMO

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Saturday clarified that there had been no delay in releasing funds for the debt-stressed farmers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

Reacting to media reports that a cheque issued by the Yavatmal District Collector to a farmer’s widow under the Relief Fund had bounced, the PMO said it was “not honoured because of local issues and not on account of any delay in release of funds.” The Prime Minister had announced financial assistance of Rs. 50 lakh each for farmers in 31districts in July 2006.

“The State Government was to utilise the fund for giving assistance to needy debt-stressed farmers and their families for expenditure in connection with health and education, especially for children. A sum of Rs. three crore was disbursed to six districts of Vidarbha in July 2006 itself, and there was no delay in releasing the funds. It was a one-time grant of funds of Rs. 50 lakh at the disposal of the concerned District Collector,” the PMO’s statement said.

Funds to the remaining 25 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were also released without delay, the statement added.

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