Rs 30,000 cr of disaster funds given to states in one year

Probably in one of the highest yearly spend towards disaster mitigation, the central government has released more than Rs 30,000 crore of disaster funds to states and Union Territories since the beginning of the pandemic last year. Up to 50% of this fund has been allowed to be used for Covid-19 containment measures that may include setting up of quarantine centres, buying of medical equipment, providing for ambulances and expenditure towards testing and tracing of cases.

Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal have got the highest share of the State Disaster Relief Management Fund (SDRMF), including Rs 8,257 crore contribution made from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). While MP has received Rs 3,700 crore of disaster fund till March 31, Maharashtra has received Rs 3,640 crore and Bengal Rs 3,260 crore.

The total funds released to 28 states/Union territories is more than Rs 31,500 crore during the just concluded 2020-21 financial year. Rs 7,000 crore of the disaster funds have been released since January this year. In a directive issued last week, the government said that “in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases, by way of special one-time dispensation it has decided to allow states to utilise up to 50% of their annual allocation of SDRF for containment measures” of the pandemic.

In the release of disaster funds to states through SDRMF, the Centre has contributed Rs 22,184 crore towards its share, which is 114% more than the Rs 10,344 crore provided in the previous year. In addition, the Centre has released Rs 8,257 crore to states from the NDRF for mitigation measures.

READ  Trump administration may stop exporting engines co-manufactured by GE to China, WSJ says

The Centre had in March last year notified Coronavirus as “disaster” so that the states could use the funds allocated under SDRMF and NDRF for the purpose of pandemic containment.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here