Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Centre releases 188 cr SDRF funds

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The Department of Expenditure of the Union Ministry of Finance released Rs 188.80 crore on Wednesday to the Telangana Government as State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF). The amount was released as per the recommendations of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

In the context of the heavy rains across the country, guidelines have been relaxed and the amount was released as immediate assistance to States without waiting for the utilisation certificate of the amount provided to the States in the last financial year. In total an amount of Rs 7,532 crore was released to 22 State Governments as State Disaster Response Funds.

The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) has been constituted in each State under Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.The fund is the primary fund available with State Governments tackling notified disasters.

The Centre contributes 75% to the SDRF in general States and 90% in North-East and Himalayan States.

The annual Central contribution is released in two equal instalments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission. As per guidelines, the funds are released after the receipt of the Utilisation Certificate of the amount released as the earlier instalment and the receipt of a report from the State Government on activities undertaken using 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 providing immediate relief to the victims of calamities like cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, hailstorms, landslides, avalanches, cloud bursts, pest attacks, frost and cold waves.

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

Based on the 15th Finance Commission recommendations, the Centre has allocated Rs 1,28,122.40 crore for SDRF in the years from 2021-22 to 2025-26. Of this amount, the Centre’s share is Rs 98,080.80 crore.

The Centre had already released Rs 34,140 crore before the current release. With the current release, the total amount of the SDRF’s Central share released to State Governments so far has gone up to Rs 42,366 crore.

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