Gujarat has run out of funds for calamity relief, as per government sources, while the Centre is yet to decide on the Rs 7,239.47 crore the state had sought for the people affected in last year’s floods.
Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel, in response to a question seeking to know how much was spent in the last two years from the state Calamity Relief Fund and the amount provided by the Centre, told the Assembly that Rs 5,996.37 crore was spent on calamity relief between April 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020, and the Central government granted Rs 2,660.75 crore during the same period.
As on December 31, 2020, the state was left with Rs 93.94 crore in the fund, he added.
Patel also said that as against the provision of Rs 1,765 crore for the SDRF Fund in 2020-21, the government allotted an additional fund of Rs 806.60 crore due to the need arising out of the agriculture relief package, he said.
But, according to government sources, the Rs 93.94 crore left, as on December 31, 2020, was also utilised during the three months of 2021, and now the state’s Calamity Relief Fund is empty.
To another question on the funds requested by the state for drought or flood relief from the Centre and how much was sanctioned, the minister said that in January 2019, the state had sought central assistance of Rs 3,370.31 crore for relief works in drought-affected regions, but was told that it “qualifies for zero financial assistance as the SDRF has Rs 2,355.12 crore funds as on April 1, 2018, 50 per cent of which, or Rs 1,177.56 crore, is more than Rs 127.60 crore granted to it by the high-level NDRF committee”.
He also said that the state had also sought Rs 7,239.47 crore for the relief fund for the damages caused due to the 2020 flood, but was yet to receive a reply from the Centre on the matter.