India offers $664 million to states hit by drought, floods
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's government on Wednesday offered millions of dollars to states hit by drought or floods, marking half the funds for a western zone were millions face their worst water shortage since 1972.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said a federal ministerial panel which he headed agreed to dole out nearly 29 billion rupees (S$664 million) to seven states which last year faced drought, flooding or other natural disasters.
"We have approved the relief package, which is the highest in recent years," Mr Pawar said and added the panel agreed to hand out 12 billion rupees to drought-stricken Maharashtra, his home state in western India.
"The drought situation in Maharashtra is the worst seen in the last 40 years," Mr Pawar said, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI).