NEW DELHI: The Centre has released Rs 1530 crore or 40% of the total package of Rs 3,873 crore announced by the Prime Minister for relief to farmers in six districts of Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, Agriculture Minister Sharad Paward said on 9 March.
The amount was released to the state government in the last six months, he said in Rajya Sabha.
The amount released includes Rs784 crore for waiver of interest on loans taken by farmers and about Rs700 crore for irrigation projects, Pawar said.
“It is the responsibility of the state government to implement (the package). According to the report we have received from the state government, 75% of the amount released has already been spent,” he said.
A three-member committee, headed by Prof. Radha Krishan, has sought a five-month extension till May-end for submission of recommendations on reducing the burden of farming community by waiver of loans or interest, Pawar said.
On the affidavit filed by the Maharashtra Government in the Supreme Court on the Centre not providing enough money for relief to farmers, Pawar said a component of relief package included Rs 50 lakh to each district collector for providing immediate relief to families of farmers committing suicide.
The state government had reported that the entire amount sanctioned had been spent and had demanded more money which the Centre had not yet provided, he said adding there were delays in release of money for irrigation projects pending environment clearance.