The floods in Kerala, which is estimated to have cost the state damages to the tune of over Rs 20,000 crore, left god’s own country in a state of shock. The Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) has received a total amount of Rs 1,027.78 crore as of August 31, at the time of writing. The list is being updated on a real-time basis.
According to the CMDRF website, Rs 145.88 crore has been received via electronic payments, Rs 46.04 crore via UPI/QR/VPA and Rs 835.86 crore via cash/cheque/RTGS. The electronic payments made through the website, from August 14, reached Rs 134.29 crore, with Rs 44.98 lakh on August 31 alone. The website has also listed out the banks through which the amount was received.
To those with concerns about how the government is utilising the funds received so far, the website has a page stating the transparency rules.
According to the website, the funds are released only through bank transfer and are operated by Manoj Joshi IAS, the Government Principal Secretary (Finance). Transfers to the end beneficiary are done through Direct Bank Transfer system.
“Contributions to CMDRF is remitted to bank accounts maintained in State Bank of India, City main Branch, Trivandrum as well as pool accounts of various nationalised and scheduled banks and the funds are released only through bank transfer. The pool accounts have been created recently for the functioning of the online portal. The funds can be withdrawn only under the hand and seal of the Finance Secretary,” it reads.
Additionally, although the Finance Secretary is authorised to operate the bank account of CMDRF, the amount can be withdrawn or transferred only as per Government Orders issued by the Revenue Secretary.
“Government Orders regulate the amount that can be sanctioned by the District Collector, Revenue Special Secretary, Revenue Secretary, Revenue Minister and the Chief Minister. Over and above, it rests with the Council of Ministers,” it adds.
People can also file a Right To Information Act (RTI) application to get all information on CMDRF funds, which are open to audit by the Comptroller and Accountant General. The budgeting and expenditure are also subject to scrutiny by the State Legislature.
Kerala faced one of the worst disasters this century, as heavy rains lashed the state and subsequently dams had to be opened.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the Kerala Assembly on Thursday that the death toll from the floods stood at 483.