Disaster Relief Current Affairs - 2020

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15th Finance Commission to monitor COVID-19 before second report

On March 19, 2020, the Finance Commission announced that it will monitor situation of COVID-19 before releasing its second report.

Highlights

The Commission is to set up a committee to review fiscal consolidation of the government. The commission has recommended grants for health sector under its report. It has recommended setting up of State Disaster Risk Management Fund and National Disaster Risk Management Fund. This will replace the existing Disaster Relief Funds both at centre and state level. This is being done to give larger priority to disaster management, mitigation, relief and response.

Finance Commission

The Finance Commission was set by President of India in 1951 under Article 280. The commission makes recommendation to distribute taxes between centre and state. It is an autonomous body. The main aim of the finance commission is to address the vertical and horizontal imbalances between the centre and the states.

The Finance Commission (Miscellaneous) Act, 1951 defines qualification, disqualification, eligibility, terms and powers of Finance Commission.

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Centre approves disaster relief fund to seven states

The Government of India approved Rs 5,908 crores of disaster relief fund to seven states. It includes Karnataka, UP, Assam, MP, Tripura Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh. The states were badly affected due to floods and landslides caused by South West Monsoon rains.

Highlights

A high-level committee operating under Home Ministry on January 6, 2020 approved disaster relief fund from National Disaster Respond Fund (NDRF). In 2019-20, the GoI released Rs 8.068.33 crores from its share from the State Disaster Respond Fund (SDRF). Under the fund, 75% of the fund is contributed by the centre and 25% by the state.

National Disaster Respond Fund

The National Disaster Respond Fund was established under the disaster Management Act, 2005. It is defined under Section 46 of the act. The NDRF was established to supplement SDRF. The aim of the fund is to provide immediate relief from natural disasters and not as compensation for crop loss or damage to properties.

In 2010, the National Calamity Contingency Fund was renamed NDRF. A dedicated calamity fund for the first time was recommended by the 9th Finance Commission in 1990.

National Executive Committee

The National Executive Committee operating under National Disaster Management Authority decides on the expenses of the NDRF based on the guidelines released by GoI in 2015.

Sources of NDRF

The NDRF is collected through cess levied on certain items, excise duties, customs duties. The budgetary allocations also contribute to the fund.

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