States allowed to use disaster funds for migrants’ shelter, food

New Delhi:The Centre on Thursday said it has permitted state governments to utilise the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for setting up shelter for migrants and providing them food, water etc,

In a press briefing, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, unveiling the second tranche of the economic stimulus, said the Centre, under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package (Self-reliant India package), has provided support for migrants and urban poor. “Central government also released Rs 11,002 crore of its contribution in advance to all state governments on April 3, to augment funds in their SDRF,” she said.

Giving details of the utilisation of funds, the Centre, in a statement, said that hygienically prepared meals a day were provided three times a day to the residents of Shelter for Urban Homeless (SUH) during lockdown with effect from March 28.

It added that the disbursal of revolving fund to SHGs was on-boarded on PAISA portal in April 2020 on a pilot basis in Gujarat and it is under process of being rolled out across all the states in May 2020. “7,200 new SHGs of urban poor have been formed during the period starting March 15,” said an official.

The Centre said to promote formalisation of labour, it is emphasizing on appointment letters for all workers along with annual health check-up for employees. It also said it is promoting universalisation of the right of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all workers including unorganised workers.