Saturday, December 9, 2023
India News

Centre approves release of ₹7,532 crore to 22 states under Disaster Response Fund

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday approved release of 7,532 crore to 22 state governments under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

“In the wake of heavy rains across the country, the guidelines have been relaxed and the amount has been released as immediate assistance to states without waiting for the utilisation certificate of the amount provided to the states in the last financial year,” the ministry of finance said.

The state disaster response fund (SDRF) has been constituted in each state under Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. It is the primary fund available with state governments for responses to notified disasters. The central government contributes 75% to the SDRF in general states and 90% in northeastern and Himalayan states.

The annual central contribution is released in two equal instalments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission.

As per guidelines, funds are released on receipt of utilisation certificate of the amount released in the earlier instalment and receipt of a report from the state government on the activities undertaken from SDRF. However, in view of the urgency, these requirements were waived while releasing the funds this time.

The SDRF is to be used only for meeting the expenditure for providing immediate relief to the victims of notified calamities like cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloud burst, pest attack and frost & cold wave.

According to the ministry, allocation of SDRF funds to the states is based on multiple factors like past expenditure, area, population, and disaster risk index. These factors reflect States‘ institutional capacity, risk exposure, and hazard and vulnerability.

Based on the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the central government has allocated 1.28 trillion for SDRF for years 2021-22 to 2025-26. Of this amount, the central government’s share is 98,080.80 crore.

The central government had released 34,140.00 before the current release. With the latest release, the total amount of central share of SDRF released to state governments so far stands at 42,366 crore.

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Updated: 12 Jul 2023, 05:18 PM IST

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