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Drought relief: Nothing pending from Centre to Karnataka, says Sitharaman

Drought relief: Nothing pending from Centre to Karnataka, says Sitharaman

Bengaluru, Nov 30 (UNI) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said there is nothing pending from the Central government and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the drought relief to Karnataka.
"The state government can throw out the allegations. He can send me the letter and much before the letter reaches me he can put it in social media, the minister or the chief minister. And I say not just this in Bengaluru, I have even, two days ago, when I was in Kerala, I said that.
"Central government, because the honourable Prime Minister has been Chief Minister of a state for more than 10 years, he knows what it is for states to get their money in time. There is nothing pending from our side for Karnataka, I am a MP from the state, I have a responsibility also. There is nothing pending," she told reporters here.
Hinting that the Congress government has not sent the required paper to release the money to Karnataka, Sitharaman said, "Well if the state doesn’t send me the required paper, I will keep waiting for the paper to send it. I can’t send money, without authorisation of the Accountant General. So that’s the truth behind any allegation, the allegation without facts in them."
Replying to a query, Sitharaman said she also had explained to Karnataka Minister Krishna Byre Gowda that the SDRF money also is in the hands of the state government to spend.
"For the NDRF, there is a committee. The Home Minister looks into it. I had (Karnataka) Minister Krishna Byre Gowda come and meet me. Even there I explained to him saying the money whichever is being decided will be — and the SDRF money is in the hands of the state government to spend," she said.
Last month, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had alleged that the central government has burdened the state by not releasing funds for 61 centrally-sponsored schemes across 23 departments, and reducing Karnataka’s tax share, resulting in a Rs 45,000 crore loss since 2020.
Sitharaman also said that the NDRF money will be given to the state after the high-powered committee recommends, and nobody is going to stop it. "The assessment team, the technical team, they all came and made a team assessment, they’ve submitted to the high powered committee. The moment the committee recommends the money is going to come. It is due to the state. Nobody’s going to stop it," she said.
The FM also said: "For north Karnataka farmers, I have asked the ITC group to come and procure stock that is there with them, so that immediately some money can go into the hands of the farmers. Even that team has come."
Sitharaman during the day visited a Jan Aushadi Kendra in the city. UNI BDN SSP

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