Damage to crops due to cold waves and frost would now be eligible for Central and State assistance following the Government’s decision to consider such weather conditions as natural calamity.

Currently, cyclones, drought, earthquakes, fire, floods, tsunamis, hailstorms, landslides, avalanches, cloud bursts and pest attacks are treated as natural calamities and are eligible for relief under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

“The Cabinet decided to include cold waves/ frost as an eligible calamity for relief under the Funds (SDRF and NDRF),” an official release said today. The Cabinet met last evening.

The decision comes following the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on inclusion of cold waves and frost in the list of calamities eligible for assistance.

The GoM, which was constituted in February 2011 to look into this issue, comprised former Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

The proposal was taken by the GoM upon requests from the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. The State faced damage to rabi crops such as wheat and pulses last year due to extreme cold weather.

(This article was published on July 20, 2012)
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