Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said the government will provide Rs 500 crore to drought-hit West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand for extending a subsidy on diesel farmers use to power their water pump-sets.
"Every farmer will get Rs 500 per hectare as diesel subsidy," Pawar said at a conference on the rabi crop season here, adding that the decision was taken by the government yesterday at a high-level meeting.
According to a presentation by Agriculture Commissioner Gurbachchan Singh, West Bengal received 16 per cent less rainfall than normal between June 1 and September 8, while Bihar and Jharkhand got 25 per cent and 48 per cent less rainfall, respectively, than normal, he said.
West Bengal has declared that 11 of its districts are drought-hit, while Bihar has given a similar status to 28 out of 38 districts. All 24 of Jharkhand's districts have also been declared as drought-hit.