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Flood-hit Punjab declares natural calamity (Lead)

Monday - August 19, 2019 9:32 pm , Category : INDIA
Chandigarh, Aug 19 (IANS) The Punjab government on Monday declared the current flood situation in the affected villages of the state as a natural calamity, with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directing the Financial Commissioner Revenue to issue the necessary notification at the earliest.
Amarinder Singh asked the Financial Commissioner to officially declare natural calamity in the villages as a unit in order to facilitate the affected people to claim insurance against the losses from various companies.
This would also help the banks, especially the state cooperative banks, to restructure and defer the recovery of crop loans from the farmers, as per the norms of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The Chief Minister was chairing a high-level meeting to review the flood preparedness in the state.
During the meeting, he asked the Finance Department to immediately clear the pending relief funds to the tune of around Rs 100 crore for expeditious disbursement by the Revenue Department through the respective Deputy Commissioners.
Amarinder Singh, who had earlier in the day visited the flood-hit areas in Ropar to make an on-the-ground assessment of the situation, also directed all the Deputy Commissioners, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and all other state government departments and entities to closely monitor the flood situation in close coordination with the police with a view to providing not only expeditious rescue and relief operations, but also to take pro-active preventive measures.
Compensation as per the prescribed norms should be disbursed expeditiously in case of death to the next of kin forthwith, the Chief Minister directed, while also ordering temporary subsistence allowance to the migrant labours, who may otherwise not be covered in the existing relief norms under the state policy, to be paid out of the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

--IANS vg/arm