Print Friendly, PDF & Email

State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)

Topics Covered: Disaster and disaster management.

State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)

What to study?

For Prelims: Features of SDRF, notified disaster.

For Mains: Need for and significance of the fund.

Context: Ministry of Home Affairs decided to treat COVID-19 as a notified disaster for the purpose of providing assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

 What is a disaster?

  • According to the Disaster Management Act, a disaster is defined as the following, “a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man made causes, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area”.
  • Ministry of Home Affairs has defined a disaster as an “extreme disruption of the functioning of a society that causes widespread human, material, or environmental losses that exceed the ability of the affected society to cope with its own resources.”
  • 31 disaster categories are organised into five major sub-groups, which are: water and climate related disasters, geological related disasters, chemical, industrial and nuclear related disasters and biological related disasters, which includes biological disasters and epidemics.

What is the State Disaster Response Fund?

Constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 by respective states and it is the primary fund available with state governments for responses to notified disasters. 

Composition: The Central government contributes 75 per cent towards the SDRF allocation for general category states and UTs, and over 90 per cent for special category states/UTs, which includes northeastern states, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand).

For SDRF, the Centre releases funds in two equal installments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission.

Support from the National Disaster Response Fund: it supplements the SDRF of a state, in case of a disaster of severe nature, provided adequate funds are not available in the SDRF.

The disasters covered under the SDRF include cyclones, droughts, tsunamis, hailstorms, landslides, avalanches and pest attacks among others.

Deciding authority: The state executive committee headed by the Chief Secretary is authorized to decide on all matters relating to the financing of the relief expenditure from the SDRF.

Features of SDRF:

  1. SDRF is located in the ‘Public Account’ under ‘Reserve Fund’. (But direct expenditures are not made from Public Account.)
  2. State Government has to pay interest on a half yearly basis to the funds in SDRF, at the rate applicable to overdrafts.
  3. The aggregate size of the SDRF for each state, for each year, is as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission.
  4. The share of GoI to the SDRF is treated as a ‘grant in aid’.
  5. The financing of relief measures out of SDRF are decided by the State Executive Committee (SEC) constituted under Section 20 of the DM Act. SEC is responsible for the overall administration of the SDRF. However, the administrative expenses of SEC are borne by the State Government from its normal budgetary provisions and not from the SDRF or NDRF.
  6. The norms regarding the amount to be incurred on each approved item of expenditure (type of disaster) are fixed by the Ministry of Home Affairs with the concurrence of Ministry of Finance. Any excess expenditure has to be borne out of the budget of the state government.
  7. Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal ministry for overseeing the operation of the SDRF and monitors compliance with prescribed processes.
  8. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audit the SDRF every year.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a Public Account?
  2. Powers of CAG to audit public accounts of centre vs states.
  3. Loans vs Grant-in aid.
  4. NDRF vs SDRF.
  5. Offices under DM Act.
  6. Notified disasters vs non- notified.

Mains Link:

Discuss the establishment and components of SDRF.

Sources: the Hindu.