PM Modi eases State Disaster Relief Fund to help states
On September 23, 2020, PM Modi met with chief ministers of seven States that have high incidence of covid-19 virus. More than 63% of active cases of covid-19 are concentrated in these seven States. They are Tamil nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
During the meet the Prime Minister announced that the limit of use of SDRF (state disaster response fund) is being increased from 35 % to 50%. This will help the states in covid-19 related infrastructure.
In March 2020, the Government of India declared the covid-19 as a notified disaster under disaster management Act 2005. This was mainly done to help the states use State disaster response Funds towards covid-19 relief measures.
There are 13 disasters covered under the act towards which the disaster response funds can be used. They are landslides, cyclone, earthquake, drought, fire, hailstorm, Tsunami, Avalanche, pest attack, cloudburst, cold waves and Frost.
State disaster response fund
It was constituted under disaster management Act, 2005 based on the recommendations made by the 13th finance commission. The Government of India contribute 75% of allocation of SDRF to the states on annual basis. The contribution is 90 percentage in case of special category states.
It is located in public account under reserve fund. The aggregate size of the fund for a state is allocated based on the Recommendation of the finance commission. The ministry of home affairs has been empowered to release 25% of the central share earlier when there is an urgent need or demand in the states.
The state disaster response fund for audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India every year.
National disaster response fund
It is managed by the central government and supplements the state disaster response fund. The national calamity contingent duty is being levied towards NDRF.