Topics Covered: Disaster and disaster management.
National Disaster Response Fund
What to study?
For Prelims: Overview of NDRF.
For Mains: It’s significance and usage.
Context: Centre releases Rs 5908 cr for flood relief to 7 states from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
The states are- Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) was renamed as National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) with the enactment of the Disaster Management Act in 2005.
Defined in Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act).
It is a fund managed by the Central Government for meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
Constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of the states to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of a severe nature.
Key features of NDRF:
Located in the “Public Accounts” of Government of India under “Reserve Funds not bearing interest“.
Monitoring: Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) monitors relief activities for calamities associated with drought, hailstorms, pest attacks and cold wave /frost while rest of the natural calamities are monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.
What is it to be used for?
NDRF amount can be spent only towards meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation.
For projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation, i.e, measures aimed at reducing the risk, impact or effect of a disaster or threatening disaster situation a separate fund called National Disaster Mitigation Fund has to be constituted.
Sources of Financing NDRF:
Financed through the levy of a cess on certain items, chargeable to excise and customs duty, and approved annually through the Finance Bill.
The requirement for funds beyond what is available under the NDRF is met through general budgetary resources.
Currently, a National Calamity Contingency Duty (NCCD) is levied to finance the NDRF and additional budgetary support is provided as and when necessary.
A provision also exists in the DM Act to encourage any person or institution to make a contribution to the NDRF.
Sources: the Hindu.