The Finance Ministry has released an amount of Rs 8,873.6 crore in advance towards the central share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for FY22 to help states in their fight against Covid-19.
The advance release of 1st instalment of central share towards SDRF has been released as a special dispensation on the recommendations of the home ministry.
Normally, the first instalment of SDRF is released in the month of June as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission.
However, in relaxation of normal procedure, not only has the release of SDRF been advanced, but the amount has also been released without waiting for the utilization certificate of the amount provided to the States in the last financial year.
Up to 50 per cent of the amount released i.e. Rs 4,436.8 crore can be used by the States for COVID-19 containment measures.
The funds from SDRF may be used by the States for various measures related to containment of COVID-19 including meeting the cost of oxygen generation and storage plants in hospitals, ventilators, air purifiers, strengthening ambulance services, COVID-19 hospitals, Covid Care Centres, consumables, thermal scanners, personal protective equipment, testing laboratories, testing kits, containment zones, etc.