Keeping in mind the drought-like conditions in 151 out of 358 taluks in Maharashtra, the State government has decided to increase the corpus of the contingency fund by ₹2,000 crore. In the event of kharif crop damage or failure, the funds would be released to the farmers.

The decision to increase the corpus was taken at the weekly State cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

A press statement issued by the Chief Minister’s office said that the limit of the contingency fund has been temporarily increased from ₹150 crore to ₹2,150 crore.

In a separate development, the State Cabinet has also given clearance to set up mobile teams of veterinary doctors, who will attend to cattle in 80 remote taluks of Maharashtra in the first phase. For this new venture — which has been named as Chief Minister Animal Health Scheme — ₹16.74 crore funds have been sanctioned.

Support in the form of 80 vehicles, equipment, veterinary doctors, and technicians would be provided to cattle owners in remote, mountainous and tribal areas.

The statement said that many times farm animals die due to lack of medical care in these areas. The owners are also not in a position to bear the medical cost of the treatment. Since the Centre has selected Maharashtra to be a State free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), the mobile squads will also keep the veterinary disease in check.