Farm Min­istry Col­lects De­tails of Flexi Funds Used for Drought Re­lief

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: The agri­cul­ture min­istry has asked con­cerned min­istries to fur­nish de­tails of ‘flexi-funds’ utilised from cen­trally-spon­sored schemes for drought re­lief this year. The in­put will help the Cen­tre to de­fend it­self dur­ing a De­cem­ber hear­ing of a con­tempt pe­ti­tion in the Supreme Court.

The con­tempt pe­ti­tion filed by Yo g e n d r a Ya d av - l e d S wa r a j Ab­hiyan has alle g ed that the Cen­tre has not taken enough mea­sures to ad­dress the drought many parts of the coun­try. It al­leged that de­spite sev­eral direc­tions from the Supreme Court, the Cen­tre has not heeded them in let­ter and spirit. The Cen­tre plans to counter the pe­ti­tion by say­ing Union min­istries and state gov­ern­ments have spent funds on drought mit­i­ga­tion uti l i s i ng c e ntrally- s pon­sored schemes made to states. In a let­ter to var­i­ous min­istries of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, the Union Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture has pointed out that the Min­istry of Fi­nance had on Septem­ber 6, 2016, raised the ‘flex­i­funds’ com­po­nents avail­able in cen­trally-spon­sored schemes from 10% to 25% of the over­all al­lo­ca­tion.

“The pur­pose of this flexi-fund is to un­der­take mit­i­ga­tion or restora- tion ac­tiv­i­ties in case there are nat­u­ral calami­ties in the sec­tor cov­ered by cen­trally spon­sored schemes,” the let­ter said, ask­ing mal hus­bandry, wa­ter re­sources, power and de­part­ments like land re­sources, drink­ing wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, school ed­u­ca­tion and lit­er­acy were among those asked to fur­nish de­tails. At the last Supreme Court hear­ing on Au­gust 9, the Cen­tre had said it can­not be asked “to do mir­a­cles as this is such an enor­mous t a s k . ” At t o r ne y Gen­eral KK Venugopal had told the court, “we are try­ing to per­suade state gov­ern­ments to do the best thing pos­si­ble. The gover nment is con­cer ned with the is­sue and is push­ing the best way for­ward. But grant us some time, prefer­ably six months.”

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