Odisha CM seeks timely drought assistance from Centre

Bhubaneswar, Nov 20 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for timely financial assistance to combat the drought situation prevailing in the state.

In a letter to Modi, the chief minister said the state government has reduced the rate of interest on crop loans from 5 percent to 4 percent through interest subvention for small, marginal and medium farmers to arrest the drought situation.

“This will ultimately reduce the effective rate of interest on crop loans from the existing 2 percent to 1 percent in the case of prompt paying farmers,” he said.

The central government is providing crop loan to farmers at 7 percent of interest.

Meanwhile, union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan criticised the state government for not submitting a memorandum to seek central assistance for drought situation.

“Some states have already submitted memorandum and the centre has granted drought assistance. The Odisha government should first submit a memorandum with the centre seeking drought assistance and then resort to the blame game,” Pradhan told reporters here.

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