New Delhi: Union Minister Birendra Singh today asked the states reeling under severe drought to utilise 10 per cent of the central funds lying with them for mitigating the problems like natural calamity even as the Centre was extending support to them. “The states have been asked to utilise about Rs 170 crore, which is 10 per cent of the Rs 1,700 crore, which are lying unutilised with them, for fighting the natural calamity like this,” The Union Minister of Rural Development told reporters.

He said the Central government was supporting the drought-hit states with “drinking water, fodder or any other help they may need” in this situation. Besides, he said the Centre has also released over Rs 823 crore to the states for making available the potable water in parched areas.

Noting that there have been drought like situation in 13 states, Singh said that out of this, 10 states have declared drought in some of their parts. Singh said the provision of additional employment of 50 days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme over and above the 100 days have also been extended for this fiscal for the drought-hit states.

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