The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday released the second instalment of the Central share of Rs 7,274.40 crore in advance to the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) of 23 states. Five states have already got in advance the second instalment amounting to Rs 1,599.20 crore.
This fund release will help the states to meet the expenditure on giving ex-gratia to the next of kin of the victims of Covid-19, a Home Ministry official said.
The state governments will now have an amount of Rs 23,186.40 crore in their SDRF, including states’ share during the financial year 2021-22, in addition to the opening balance available in their SDRF to meet the ex-gratia expenses and for providing relief on other notified calamities, the official added.
The Centre had issued an order on September 25 revising items and norms of assistance under the SDRF, making a provision for giving ex-gratia to the families of Covid-19 victims.
The revised SDRF norms are to implement the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on September 11, 2021 in compliance with the order passed by the Supreme Court.
The first instalment of Central share to SDRF of the states of Rs 8,873.6 crore was released on May 1 this year in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19 that claimed thousands of lives in April-May this year.
The SDRF is the primary fund available with state governments for providing immediate relief to the families of Covid victims.
The Centre contributes 75 per cent of the allocation for general category states and Union Territories and 90 per cent for special category states such as the north-eastern states, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.