The Centre has allowed the states to use the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to provide ex-gratia assistance of Rs 50,000 to the next of kin of those who have succumbed to Covid-19, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said as per the national policy on disaster management, the primary responsibility for disaster management, including disbursal of relief assistance to the affected people, rests with the state governments concerned.
He said the state governments undertake relief measures in the wake of natural disasters with help from the SDRF, already placed at their disposal, in accordance with the Government of India's approved norms. Rai said keeping in view the spread of coronavirus in India and the declaration of Covid-19 as pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), by way of a special onetime dispensation, the central government has allowed the states to use SDRF towards containment measures for the financial years 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.
"Further, based on the guidelines issued by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), under section 12(iii) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, on September 11, 2021, the central government had allowed the states to use the SDRF to provide ex-gratia assistance of Rs 50,000 to the next of kin of the deceased due to COVID-19," he said replying to a written question.