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Jaitley assures help to Chhattisgarh to tackle drought

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Raipur: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today assured all possible help from the Centre for drought- hit Chhattisgarh, where 93 tehsils have so far been declared affected due to deficient rainfall during the ongoing Kharif crop season.

“I have discussed it (the issue of drought) with Chief Minister Raman Singh and his Cabinet ministers. After going through the report of the Centre’s assessment team, we will extend all possible assistance for tackling the drought situation and ensure relief to farmers in the state,” Jaitley said this evening.

A central assessment team recently visited the drought-hit areas of the state to take stock of the situation.

Speaking at a state foundation day ceremony at Balbeer Singh Juneja Indoor Stadium here, Jaitley also spoke about the Indian economy, which he claimed was growing.

He added that there is “no shortage of food commodities in the country and inflation is under control” but noted at the same time that the global economy poses a challenge for “all of us, including Chhattisgarh”.

But the Union minister exuded hope that the mineral-rich state would take up these challenges in a better manner.

Praising the various schemes and initiatives taken by the ruling BJP in the state, he said, “In the past 15 years, Chhattisgarh has scripted history by exploiting its natural resources to boost its growth.

“The Public Distribution System in the state has not only received appreciation in the country but also abroad.

Chhattisgarh has been ranked fourth among top five states as per the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking.”

Talking about the Naxal menace, Jaitley expressed confidence that it would soon be wiped out from the state.

“A major part of the state’s revenue is spent on tackling Naxalism. Defeat of those needs to be ensured who are on the path of violence. Insurgency has now been reduced to only a few districts and, very soon, it will be wiped out completely,” he said.

Chhattisgarh government had decided to cancel the week- long celebrations of ‘Rajyotsav’ (observed on the occasion of the foundation day of state on November 1) in view of the problems in the drought-affected areas. The function today was held for the distribution of state awards.