First installment of ‘State Disaster Relief Fund’ released
- Recently, the central government has released 50% of the total amount from the State Disaster Relief Response Fund (SDRF) to the states for prevention measures of corona, in the midst of growing crisis of corona epidemic in the country.
- It should be noted that the total amount of SDRF to be given to the states for the financial year 2021-22 is Rs 8,873 crore, out of which only Rs 4,436.8 crore has been provided to the states as the first installment by the government.
- The amount can be used by the state for prevention of COVID-19. Normally this amount is provided to the states in the month of June, but due to the corona epidemic it has been given to the states in the month of May itself.
State Disaster Response Funds
- The SDRF has been constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. SDRF is the major fund available with the state government to combat disasters.
- Under this, the central government contributes 75% of the SDRF allocation for general category states and union territories. It contributes about 90% for special category states and union territories (North Eastern states, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir).
- In 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order to include COVID-19 as a “notified disaster”. This was done to provide temporary accommodation, clothing, food, medical care to the homeless people, including the migrant laborers trapped outside.
National Disaster Response Funds
- After the Disaster Management Act came into force in 2005, the National Calamity Contingency Fund was renamed the National Disaster Response Fund.
- These funds of the Government of India are kept under ‘Public Account’. The expenditure of these funds does not require the approval of Parliament. This fund is financed by imposing cess on some items and excise and customs duties. SDRF is the major fund available with the state government to combat disasters, and is approved annually through the Finance Bill.
- The National Disaster Response Fund is audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
- This fund is used for relief activities for disasters such as drought, hail, pest attacks and cold wave, frost, basically disasters related to farmers.
- Such funding is monitored by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. While natural disasters are monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Disaster Management Act- 2005
- The Disaster Management Act was passed in the year 2005. But this Act came into force from the year 2006. The Act aims at efficient management at the time of disaster, so as to limit the loss and damage.
- Under the Disaster Management Act – 2005, the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India acts as the nodal ministry to conduct overall national disaster management.
Source – PIB