Additional assistance will be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund only for a ‘calamity of severe nature’
The Ministry of Home Affairs has declared Kerala floods as calamity of a severe nature. In a memorandum, it said '247 human lives have been reported lost and 17,343 houses/huts have been reported damaged due to floods/landslides in the state during the south-west monsoon. Keeping in view the intensity and magnitude of the floods/landslides, this is a calamity of a severe nature for all practical purposes’.
What does this disaster classification mean for Kerala?According to the National Disaster Management Policy, additional assistance will be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) only for a ‘calamity of severe nature’, The Hindu reports.
Another thing to note is the trend in budgetary allocations to NDRF and State Disaster Relief Fund, which has been in the range of Rs 5,690 crore in FY16 to a budgeted amount of Rs 2,500 crore for the current fiscal. As for SDRF, the government contributed Rs 8,374.95 crore in FY17 and Rs 7,281.76 crore in FY18.
While the NDRF is funded through a National Calamity Contingent Duty levied on pan masala, chewing tobacco and cigarettes, and with budgetary provisions as and when needed, the SDRF corpus is contributed by the Centre and the respective state governments in a 75:25 ratio for general category states and 90:10 for Special Category States.
It is the Finance Commission that allocates funds to the SDRF for each state and the Centre contributes its specified share each financial year.The Central share of SDRF is released in two equal instalments in June and then in December.