Southwest Monsoon Current Affairs - 2020

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.

Southwest Monsoon Likely to be Below Normal this Year

Independent weather forecaster Skymet has made the following predictions about the Southwest Monsoons:

  • India could face its third consecutive below-normal monsoon this season, and the rainfall is expected to be 93% of the long-period average.
  • With all likelihood of El Niño playing a disruptive role, there is only a 30% chance of normal rain during this year’s southwest monsoon, which delivers about 70% of the country’s annual rainfall and there is a 55% probability of below normal rainfall this year.
  • June-to-September southwest monsoon season is expected to begin on a lean note and the deficit is expected to spill over into July.
  • Rainfall is expected to get better in the second half of the season as the El Niño phenomenon is expected to weaken.
  • August and September are likely to witness normal showers and Odisha, Chhattisgarh and coastal Andhra Pradesh are most likely to see normal rains throughout the season.

Even the IMD has predicted weak El Nino conditions which would be prevalent in the early part of the summer season and likely to weaken thereafter.

Normal Rainfall

Rainfall in the range of 96-104% of the long-period average of 89 cm is considered normal, while a range of 90-95% of this average is considered below normal.