First Instalment of SDRF released

The Ministry of Finance recently released the first instalment of State Disaster Relief Fund. According to the Finance Ministry, the funds have been released early. The ministry released 50% of the amount, which is Rs 4,436.8 crores. According to the recommendation made by the Finance Commission, the funds were to be released by June 2021. The total amount of SDRF to be released for 2021-22 is Rs 8,873 crores.

State Disaster Response Funds

  • They were constituted under Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • In 2020, the Home ministry 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 stranded migrant labourers.
  • The SDRF is the major fund available with the State Government to respond to disasters.
  • The Central Government contributes 75% of the SDRF allocation for general category states. Around 90% is contributed to the Special Category States and Union Territories.
  • The State Disaster Response Funds are supplemented by the National Disaster Response Funds.

National Disaster Response Funds

  • The National Calamity Contingency Funds were renamed as the National Disaster Response Fund.
  • These funds are placed under the “Public Account”. It does not bear any interests.
  • The expenditure from these funds does not require the approval of the Parliament.
  • The National Disaster Response Funds are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • The fund is also used for relief activities for the calamities such as pest attacks, drought, frost, cold wave, that is, basically those calamities associated with farmers. Such funding are monitored by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. It operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.
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