PM Modi chairs high level meeting on drought & water scarcity situation in parts of Karnataka
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah thanks PM Modi for Centre's assistance for drought hit areas
Centre and the State should work together to tackle the problem of drought: PM
Time has come when there should be healthy competition among States to speak of efforts in water conservation: PM Modi

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired a high level meeting on the drought and water scarcity situation in parts of Karnataka. The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Siddaramaiah, was present in the meeting. Senior officials from the Government of India, and the State of Karnataka, were also present.

Initiating the discussion, the Prime Minister said he is holding separate meetings with Chief Ministers of 11 drought-affected States, to see what can be done to mitigate the problems posed by drought, and also to focus attention on medium to long term measures.

The Chief Minister of Karnataka thanked the Government of India for the assistance of Rs. 1540.20 crore against the Kharif memorandum, and said that this has been fully utilized to assist the farmers. He said that this amount was transferred to farmers through Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS). He further said that Rs. 723.23 crore had recently been approved for the Rabi memorandum, which should be released expeditiously.

It was informed that this was in addition to the Rs. 207 crore released as central share of SDRF for 2015-16. Further, Rs. 108.75 crore has already been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17.

It was further informed that Rs 603 crore would be made available with Karnataka during 2016-17 for water conservation and drought proofing under various schemes of Government of India. Similarly, Rs 830 crore would be available under various agriculture schemes.

The Chief Minister described the problems being faced by people owing to the severe drought. He said that major rivers and reservoirs in the State are facing acute water shortage. He explained the various measures undertaken by the State Government, including desilting, construction of farm ponds, steps towards drip irrigation, and ensuring adequate drinking water supply.

The Prime Minister discussed various measures for desilting, water conservation and recharging of ground water, with the Chief Minister. He urged the State Government to give maximum attention to desilting, farm tanks and check dams over the next 30 to 40 days, before the onset of the monsoon.

The Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister about the steps taken by Karnataka, for waste water management. Appreciating these efforts, the Prime Minister emphasized that this should be taken up in a big way in the towns and cities.

Shri Siddaramaiah apprised the Prime Minister about the preparatory steps taken towards implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The State Government also made some suggestions regarding crop insurance.

The Chief Minister presented a memorandum to the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister assured him of all possible support.

The Prime Minister said that the Centre and the State should work together to tackle the problem of drought, which he described as “our” problem. He said that solutions to the problem would have to be found together.

The Prime Minister said that the time has come when there should be healthy competition among States to speak of efforts in water conservation and management, the way efforts to increase GSDP and investment are spoken about. The Prime Minister also asked NITI Aayog to develop an index to measure water conservation and management.

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May 08, 2021

At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.