According to sources of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), several state governments have not used funds released by the Central government for the purpose of disaster relief in the states.
MHA claimed that states such as Kerala and Assam have not utilised the disaster relief funds allocated by the Centre.
"The Kerala government was given around Rs 3,000 crore after floods hit the state in 2018. By April 2019, it utilised only Rs 900 crore. In 2019 after another flood incident in Kerala, the state government sougt for Rs 2,000 crore from the government. Assam has also not utilised funds given by the Centre," MHA sources said.
An MHA official cleared that as per government procedures, if the state government fails to utilise the allocated funds, then the Centre will not release any more funds. He also added that states have to utilise the funds strictly for the purpose of disaster relief only.
For the recent Cyclone 'Bulbul' that hit West Bengal, the government of India is yet to receive a memorandum from the state.
In October 2019, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had reviewed the ongoing rescue and relief projects undertaken in all the flood-affected states. Bearing in mind the severity of the flood and the amount of funds available with the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) account of Bihar and Karnataka, the Home Minister had sanctioned the advance release of Rs 400 Crore to Bihar and Rs 1200 crore to Karnataka from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) 'on account basis'.
He also approved the advance release of 2nd instalment of the Centre's share of SDRF amounting to Rs 213.75 crore to Bihar for the year 2019-20.
Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde said on Tuesday that strict action would be taken against government officials who do not properly utilise public welfare funds for development works.
Shinde, who is also guardian minister of Thane, presided over the district planning council meeting on Monday where a Rs 475 crore draft plan was sanctioned for development works in the district in 2020-21.
During the meeting, he said, "Action would be taken against those responsible for non-utilisation of the funds."