GUWAHATI: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has released the second installment of Rs 386 crore to the Government of Assam under the 'State Disaster Response Fund' (SDRF). The State Finance Department will be releasing the fund to the Revenue & Disaster Management Department.
The first installment of equal amount was released in April 2020. The Centre had approved the allocation of Rs 858 crore to the State for the present fiscal (2020-2021).
The SDRF is released in two equal installments on the 90:10 share; with the Centre bearing the lion's share and the remaining amount by the State government. The second installment was released after the Ministry granted its nod to the UCs (Utilization Certificates) of the first installment which was sent to the Centre by the State government.
The SDRF funds are utilized for restoration of various infrastructures due to floods and other natural disasters. Significantly this fiscal, a portion of SDRF was also utilized for the management of COVID-19 in Assam.
The major share of the fund is generally allocated to the Water Resources Department as the annual floods wreak maximum damage of embankments across the State. The last meeting of the 'State Executive Committee' of ASDMA (Assam State Disaster Management Authority) had approved the largest SDRF share of Rs 261 crore for the current financial year.
After the BJP led coalition government came to power in 2016, the Assam government utilized Rs 499.28 crore for the fiscal 2016-2017. During 2017-2018, the SDRF utilisation was Rs 570.56 crore; in 2018-2019, it was Rs 415.20 crore; in 2019-2020, it was Rs 437 crore; and during the current fiscal (2020-2021) the SDRF utilisation is Rs 627 crore so far.
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