The Union government on Tuesday said crops on 2.94 lakh hectares were damaged in Punjab due to unseasonal rain and hailstorm over the past three months.
However, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana are the worst-hit states and have sought over `10,100 crore as relief from the Union government for the affected farmers, the Lok Sabha was informed.
Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said rain and hailstorm altogether affected 94 lakh hectares of the crop area across 14 states over the past three months. Giving state-wise details in reply to a question, he said 29.64 lakh hectares of the crop area was affected in Uttar Pradesh.
In Haryana, 22.24 lakh hectares of the crop area was affected while in Rajasthan it stood at 16.89 lakh hectares. Other affected states include Maharashtra (9.89 lakh hectares), Madhya Pradesh (5.7 lakh hectares), Punjab (2.94 lakh hectares), Bihar (1.86 lakh hectares), Gujarat (1.75 lakh hectares), Jammu & Kashmir (1.33 lakh hectares) and Himachal Pradesh (0.67 lakh hectares).
"Memoranda have been received from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana demanding `744.48 crore, `8,252 crore and `1,135.91 crore from the NDRF (National Disaster Response Fund), respectively," Singh said during question hour.
The minister said several state governments have been asked to take relief measures and utilise the money available under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). For additional financial assistance, the states can seek money from the NDRF. Financial assistance under the SDRF/NDRF in the wake of natural calamities was by way of relief and not for compensation of losses suffered, he said.
Besides, Singh said a new crop insurance policy was also on the anvil for this fiscal.