The government on Tuesday (August 20) approved additional assistance of ₹4,432.10 crore to Odisha, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, which were affected by drought, avalanches, hailstorms, landslides and cyclone ‘Fani’ in 2019. However, the high-level committee chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah chose to ignore flood-ravaged Kerala, which is ruled by the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF).
The panel decided to give ₹3,338.22 crore to Odisha for Cyclone Fani, ₹1,029.39 crore to Karnataka for drought and ₹64.49 crore to Himachal Pradesh for avalanches and hailstorm.
Union minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman, Union minister for agriculture and farmers welfare Narendra Singh Tomar were also present in the meeting, along with senior officers of the ministries of home affairs, finance, agriculture, and NITI Aayog.
This additional assistance is over and above the funds released by the Centre to the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). In 2018-19, Centre had released ₹9,658 crore to all states and during 2019-20, till date, the Centre has released ₹6,104 crore to 24 states.
The panel also reviewed the existing practice of deputing an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) after the receipt of a memorandum from States in the wake of any calamity.
It was also decided to constitute an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) in the aftermath of any natural calamity. The team will also visit affected areas to get a first-hand assessment of damages.