New Delhi: As a special dispensation, the union department of expenditure has released in advance of the normal schedule the 1st instalment of the Central share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the year 2021-22 to all the States. An amount of Rs.8873.6 crore has been released to the States.
Normally, the first instalment of SDRF is released in the month of June as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission. However, in relaxation of normal procedure, not only has the release of SDRF been advanced, the amount has also been released without waiting for the utilization certificate of the amount provided to the States in the last financial year. Up to 50% of the amount released i.e. Rs.4436.8 crore can be used by the States for COVID-19 containment measures.
The funds from SDRF may be used by the States for various measures related to containment of COVID-19 including meeting the cost of oxygen generation and storage plants in hospitals, ventilators, air purifiers, strengthening ambulance services, COVID-19 hospitals, Covid Care Centres, consumables, thermal scanners, personal protective equipment, testing laboratories, testing kits, containment zone, etc.