Recently the catastrophic floods in Kerala attracted the attention of the world and the idea of this flood can be judged by the fact that it has been declared a ‘serious category of calamity’ at the national level. At the same time, for the relief, rescue and reconstruction work in Kerala, the country’s various states have also been particularly discussed in the news of financial assistance.
Major financial assistance offer
- The Central Government has so far provided all possible help to the state for relief, rescue and reconstruction work after the floods in Kerala.
- Not only during the calamity, various states of India have gone ahead and provided financial assistance but news of help from foreign countries has also emerged.
- It is notable that various foreign governments have given various proposals for relief, rescue and reconstruction work in Kerala, in which approximately Rs 700 crore from the UAE and the Maldives has been offered financial assistance of approximately 35 lakh.
- Alva United Arab Emirates (UAE) also announced the creation of a committee to help in flood affected areas of Kerala.
Reason of dispute
- For the relief and rehabilitation work in Kerala, India has refused to accept the proposals of financial assistance from foreign governments and according to the information received from the Ministry of External Affairs, according to the “current policy”, the Central Government “domestic efforts” Will fulfill the requirements in Kerala itself.
- In addition, the Ministry has also said that only PIOs, NRIs or international organizations can send money from abroad only to Prime Minister or Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
- However, the Chief Minister of Kerala says that there is ambiguity about the current policy of the Central Government’s National Disaster Management Plan.
- Now the important question is, what is the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and National Disaster Management Plan?
Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund
- In order to help the displaced people from Pakistan, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was established in January 1948 by the contribution of the public on the appeal of then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
- The funds of Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund are used mainly to provide immediate relief to the families of people killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes and to victims of major accidents and riots.
- Apart from this, this fund is also assisted for the treatment of cardiac surgery, kidney transplantation, cancer etc.
- This fund is made only by the public contribution and it does not get any budgetary support.
- The entire fund is invested in scheduled commercial banks in different forms.
- Money from the fund is distributed with the approval of the Prime Minister.
- The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund has not been constituted by the Parliament.
- This fund is considered as a trust under the Income Tax Act and it is managed by the Prime Minister or by various designated officers for national purposes.
- Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is being operated from the Prime Minister’s Office, South Block, New Delhi, 110011. No license fee is paid for this.
- The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is exempted from filing income tax return under section 10 and 139 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- The Prime Minister is the President of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and the officers / staff assist him in his operations on unpaid basis.
- The contributions made to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund are notified for exemption from taxable income under section 80 (g) of Income Tax Act, 1961.
- In the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, only voluntary contributions are accepted from a person and institution in the form of contribution to be accepted in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Contributions from government sources or balance sheets of public sector undertakings are not accepted.
- During the natural calamity of the destructive level, the Prime Minister appeals for contribution to this fund.
- Such conditional grant in which it is mentioned by the donor that the grant amount is for any specific purpose, it is not accepted.
National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP)
- The Prime Minister released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) in May 2016 which is the first such national scheme of the country.
- The NDMP establishes a fair rapport with the goals and priorities set forth in the Sandy Framework to reduce the risk of disaster.
Vision of plan
- To make India disaster free, there is a considerable reduction in disaster risks, reducing the loss of life, livelihood and property-economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental damage etc.
- For this, the capacity to deal with all levels of administration as well as the disasters of the communities will be increased.
- The four priorities announced in the Saandai Framework for each threat have been included in the Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
- For this, there are five fields: Understanding the Risk, Cooperation between Agencies, Cooperation in DRR-Structural Measures, Collaboration in DRR – Non-Structural Measures, Capacity Development
- In addition, the National Disaster Management Plan clearly states that any voluntary offer of assistance from other countries can be accepted.
- In the relevant section of the chapter on ‘International Cooperation’ of NDMP, it has been written: “In the case of policy, the Government of India does not issue any appeal for foreign aid due to the disaster.
- However, if the national government of any other country provides assistance in the form of goodwill in solidarity with disaster victims, then the central government can accept the proposal.
- National Disaster Management Plan chapter 9 on international cooperation acknowledges that voluntary assistance given by a foreign government can be accepted from time to time in the event of serious disasters.
- Indeed, this plan explains that due to the disaster, India will not appeal for foreign aid, but if the national government of another country voluntarily provides assistance in the form of goodwill in solidarity for disaster victims then the central government can accept the proposal. .
It is pertinent to say on the above basis that there is a need to look at the current dispute in multi-dimensional form. Undoubtedly Kerala is struggling with serious disasters, and for this, small financial support also matters, but we should not forget that the Central Government has made every possible assistance of Kerala in this calamity from the very beginning. In addition to this difficult situation, the entire country is helping as much as possible in Kerala. However, taking help from any other country may not be wrong according to the rules, but when the government feels that this calamity is not beyond its capability, then this situation In this we need to introduce patience. Apart from this, this issue is linked to India’s credentials in the world and any decision taken in the hurry can lead to fatal damage to India’s image.
Therefore, it is time to demonstrate the unity and co-ordination of the time without any dispute, but also to make serious contemplation about proper solutions to the causes of such a future disaster, so that there is no need to suffer such a tragedy. Fall.
Sources The Hindu