Gist of Editorials: Financing Disaster Management | GS – III

Relevance :  GS Paper III

Heavy rainfall in Kerala led to catastrophic floods which caused substantial loss of life, property, and infrastructure.

The Present Framework for Funding Disaster Management

  • Disaster mitigation to cushion the impact of a disaster much before its onset.
  • Disaster relief includes steps taken immediately before and after the disaster strikes.
  • Disaster reconstruction includes rebuilding destroyed infrastructure.

Funding of disaster management

  • Both GoI and state governments fund disaster management.
  • GoI supports in three ways- budget, grants,and support from foreign countries.
  • State governments have two avenues for support- budget, and private contributions.

The Disaster Management Act (DMA), 2005

  • The act establishes three authorities to manage disasters: NDMA, SDMA, and DDMA.
  • The NDMA is chaired by the Prime Minister, SDMA, and DDMA by the district collector.

Thre concerns

  • NDMA has no role in sanctioning funds from the NDRF.
  • Procedure for release of NDRF is subjective and cumbersome.
  • None of the three mitigation funds- NDMF, SDMF and DDMF-have been notified and activated
  • In the wake of the Kerala floods, some countries offered financial support. But the GoI reportedly declined these offers..

Way forward

  • A national consensus is required on how to fund all the three components of disaster management—mitigation, res­ponse and reconstruction.
  • The option of empowering the NDMA to manage both the response and mitigation funds at the national level needs to be explored.
  • The option for permitting foreign contributions for disaster management needs to be considered.
  • It may not be desirable to complicate the GST structure by levying a cess on funding of disaster relief.