The Centre has approved the release of the second installment of its share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) amounting to Rs 7,274.40 crore, in advance, to 23 states.
The decision has been taken by Union Home Minister Amit Shah as part of the Modi government's initiative to facilitate state governments to have enough funds in their SDRF to deal with any emergency arising out of any disaster.
According to a Union home ministry statement, five states have already been released in advance the second instalment amounting to Rs 1,599.20 crore.
The central government had issued an order on September 25, revising the items and norms of assistance under the SDRF, making therein a provision for grant of ex-gratia payment to the next of kin of the deceased due to COVID-19.
This enabling provision in the SDRF norms has been made so as to implement the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on September 11 in compliance with the order passed by the Supreme Court on June 30.
Shah has approved the release of the second instalment of the central share of the SDRF amounting to Rs 7,274.40 crore, in advance, to 23 states, the statement said.
The state governments will now have an amount of Rs 23,186.40 crore in their SDRF, including state's share, during the financial year 2021-22, in addition to the amount of opening balance available in their SDRF, to meet the expenses for granting ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased due to Covid and for providing relief on other notified calamities, it said.