Centre clears Rs 3,048 crore grant for flood-hit Kerala

The Centre on Thursday gave a grant of Rs 3,048 crore to Kerala, which was hit by massive floods in August, as an additional assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), officials said.

Besides, Rs 539 crore will be provided to cyclone-hit Andhra Pradesh and Rs 131 crore to Nagaland, which was also affected by floods.

A high-level committee met to relate the additional central assistance to Kerala, Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh. The committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the additional assistance of Rs 3048.39 crore to Kerala, Rs 131.16 crore to Nagaland and Rs 539.52 crore to Andhra Pradesh, a home ministry spokesperson said.

Those who attended the meeting comprised of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior officers of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance, and Agriculture.

The Kerala government had sought Rs 4,700 crore as compensation from the Centre for the damage happened by the floods, termed the worst in a century. At least 488 people died in Kerala reason being the rains and floods this monsoon, which hit 14 districts of the state.

On November 30, Indian Express was first to report on approval of additional help to Kerala.

In case of any natural calamity beyond the coping capacity of a state, the state government deposits a detailed memorandum indicating sector-wise details of damage and requirement of funds for relief operations of immediate nature, another official said.

As per the given guidelines, the central government sends an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) for an on-the-spot assessment of damage and the additional requirement of funds.

The IMCT report is taken to the Sub-Committee of National Executive Committee (SC-NEC) headed by the Union home secretary in conformity with the norms and then by a high-level committee, chaired by the home minister for approving the quantum of additional assistance from the NDRF.

The financial mechanism to meet the rescue and relief expenditure during any notified disaster event is governed by guidelines pertaining to the NDRF and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), the official said.

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