The Ministry of Finance has released the 1st instalment of the central share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the year 2021-22. At the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs, an amount of Rs 8,873.6 crore has been allocated to the states. Relaxation has been provided in the procedure of allocation of SDRF, as well as the amount has been released without waiting for the utilisation certificate.
50% of the amount for COVID-19 Relief
Keeping in view the current situation in India due to the second wave of Coronavirus, 50% of the total amount released by the Ministry of Finance, that is, Rs 4,438.8 crores can be used by the states for Covid-19 relief measures. As per the ministry, the funds allocated to the states from SDRF can be utilised in Covid relief measures including meeting the cost of oxygen generation and their storage plants in hospitals, ventilators, air purifiers, Covid dedicated hospitals, Covid care centres, thermal scanners, protective medical equipment, laboratories, testing kits, strengthened ambulance services etc.
What is State Disaster Response Funds?
Constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, SDRF or State Disaster Response Fund are the primary funds available for responses to notified disasters in order to meet requisite expenditure and provide immediate relief.
The Central Government contributes 75% of SDRF to general category States/UTs whereas, 90% is allocated for special category States/UTs which includes North Eastern States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
Disasters that are covered under SDRF include Cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloudburst, pest attack, frost and cold waves. A State Government may use funds up to 10% of capacity available under the umbrella of SRDF in order to provide immediate relief to the victims of natural disaster.