The Centre released on April 3 Rs 17,287 crore to states to enhance their financial resources during the COVID-19 crisis. Of this amount, Rs 11,092 crore is towards State Disaster Response Mitigation Fund (SDRMF) to all the states.
An amount of Rs 6,195 crore has been released as 'Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant' to 14 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
"The @FinMinIndia today released a total of Rs 17,287.08 crore to different states to enhance their financial resources during the #COVID19 crisis, " the Office of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a tweet.
This includes Rs 6,195.08 crore on account of ''revenue deficit grant'' under 15th Finance Commission recommendations to 14 states.
The remaining Rs 11,092 crore is to be given to all states as advanced payment of the central share of first instalment of SDRMF. This includes Rs 1,611 crore to Maharashtra, Rs 966 crore to Uttar Pradesh, Rs 910 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 708 crore to Bihar, Rs 802 crore to Odisha, Rs 740.50 crore to Rajasthan, Rs 662 crore for Gujarat and Rs 505.50 crore to West Bengal.
While Maharashtra, the state that has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases, got Rs 1,611 crore as the Centre’s allocation, Kerala which initially witnessed a stark influx of positive cases has been allocated only Rs 157 crore.
As of April 7, Maharashtra has reported 748 Covid-19 positive cases. Of these, 56 have recovered and 45 have died. In Kerala, 327 cases have been reported; 58 of this total have recovered and two have died.
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Talking about the Centre’s contribution so far, Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told The Caravan: “Let me put it this way: the Centre has given no additional money because of COVID-19. Absolutely zero. What they have given us so far is the budgeted money through the National Health Mission fund and the GST arrears. They paid it in March-end. Now, the State Disaster Risk Management fund has been distributed. It can be spent for COVID also. Apart from these, which are all budgeted, there’s absolutely no additional money to fight the pandemic. It’s scandalous. I can’t imagine how people behave in this manner.”
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu, the state that has seen the second highest number of Covid-19 cases so far, was allocated Rs 510 crore. Till April 7 evening, Tamil Nadu has had as many as 621 cases of the novel coronavirus; eight of these have recovered and five have died.
The allocation for the rest of the states is: Rs 555 crore for Andra Pradesh, Rs 468 crore for Uttarakhand, Rs 386 crore for Assam, Rs 216 crore for Chattisgarh, Rs 245 crore for Haryana, Rs 204 crore for Himachal Pradesh, Rs 284 crore for Jharkhand, Rs 395 crore for Karnataka, Rs 247 crore for Punjab, Rs 224 crore for Telangana, Rs 157crore for Kerala, Rs 125 crore for Arunachal Pradesh, Rs 21 crore for Manipur, Rs 33 crore for Meghalaya, Rs 23 crore for Mizoram, Rs 20 crore for Nagaland, and Rs 34 crore for Tripura.
An additional amount of Rs. 3,000 crore has also been released to states on Monday for the management of COVID-19, says PIB.
The SDRMF is used to meet expenditure for providing immediate relief to the victims of notified disasters. In the case of general category states and union territories, 75% of SDRMF has been allocated by the central government. But in the case of special category states (Northeastern states, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and J&K), the Centre’s contribution is 90%.
So, in an order on March 14, it was notified that COVID-19 would be considered a “notified disaster”. So, the SDRMF funds can be used for this purpose as well. The budget allocation for SDRMF in the financial year 2020-21 is Rs 29,000 crore in total.
(Inputs from PTI)
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